Cover image for Finders and keepers : helping new teachers survive and thrive in our schools
Finders and keepers : helping new teachers survive and thrive in our schools
Johnson, Susan Moore.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
San Francisco : Jossey-Bass, [2004]

Physical Description:
xxi, 314 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Greater expectations, higher demands / coauthor, Morgaen L. Donaldson -- The next generation of teachers / coauthor, Heather G. Peske -- What teaching pays, what teaching costs / coauthor, Edward Liu -- Seeking success with students / coauthor, Sarah E. Birkeland -- Schools that support new teachers -- Filling the curriculum void / coauthor, David Kauffman -- Professional culture and the promise of colleagues / coauthor, Susan M. Kardos -- Making better matches in hiring / coauthor, Edward Liu -- Supporting new teachers through school-based induction / coauthor, Susan M. Kardos -- Sustaining new teachers through professional growth / coauthor, Morgaen L. Donaldson -- Finders and keepers.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
LB2844.1.N4 J65 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



This important and much-needed book is based on a longitudinal study of fifty new teachers during their first years in the classroom. It highlights the cases of ten, whose stories vividly illustrate the joys and disappointments of new teachers in today's schools. The book documents why they entered teaching, what they encountered in their schools, and how they decided whether to stay or move on to other schools or other lines of work. By tracking these teachers? eventual career decisions, Finders and Keepers reveals what really matters to new teachers as they set out to educate their students.  The book uncovers the importance of the school site and the crucial role that principals and experienced teachers play in the effective hiring and induction of the next generation of teachers.

Staffing the nation's schools presents both challenges and opportunities. For teacher educators, district administrators, educational policymakers, teachers, principals, and staff development professionals, Finders and Keepers provides valuable insights about how to better serve new teachers and the students they teach. 

"At a time when expectations of teachers have never been higher or the challenges of teaching more daunting, Johnson and her project team show how the choice to stay or leave is forged in the early months of becoming a teacher'through hiring practices, pay and other resources, relationships with students, colleagues or administrators, and opportunities for learning and leadership. This book should compel attention from anyone concerned with the future of teaching."
?Judith Warren Little, Carol Liu Professor in Education Policy Graduate School of Education, University of California, Berkeley

"Finders and Keepers is a must read for superintendents, district administrators, principals and anyone who cares about the retention and recruitment of high-quality teachers to public schools. The book is both informative and insightful, and above all, it inspires the reader to action."
?Arlene Ackerman, Superintendent of Schools, San Francisco Unified School District

"Knowledgeable, skilled and caring teachers represent our best hope for educating all our students well. Finders and Keepers, about real teachers in real schools, tells us how we can overcome impediments together, creating a more genuine profession for teachers and more learner-centered schools for all our students."
?Adam Urbanski, president, Rochester Teachers Association and director, Teacher Union Reform Network

"If you think that this generation of teachers is like the last one, think again. Not only is this book full of insights about the desires and needs of new teachers, but it also provides compelling stories about what the best schools do to keep them and grow their skills. It is a must-read for policymakers, superintendents, principals, and everybody else who cares about quality education."
?Kati Haycock, director, Education Trust, Washington, D.C.

Author Notes

Susan Moore Johnson, a former high school teacher and administrator, is the Pforzheimer Professor of Teaching and Learning at the Harvard Graduate School of Education
Sarah E. Birkeland, Morgaen L. Donaldson, Susan M. Kardos, David Kauffman, Edward Liu, and Heather G. Peske are all are former teachers, advanced doctoral students, and published researchers at The Project on the Next Generation of Teachers at the Harvard Graduate School of Education

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

America's schools are changing rapidly, especially in urban areas, as one generation of teachers retires and more than two million new teachers enter the profession. In order for schools to both find and keep new teachers, Harvard education professor Johnson says, major reforms are needed in the ways they recruit, train and retain their staff. Over the course of three years, Johnson, who worked with Harvard's Project of the Next Generation of Teachers, interviewed 50 teachers in Massachusetts as they began their teaching careers. Their experiences and recollections form the heart of this important book. New teachers, Johnson reveals, are no longer always products of college teacher-training programs; now, they might be mid-career transfers to the profession or young adults who have taken a few teaching courses before entering the classroom. Whatever the source of entry, the pressure on new teachers is enormous; Johnson writes that "one of the 'givens' of being a teacher is knowing you will not be able to do all that society asks of you." Many of the interviewees make it clear that they ended up working in isolation, without guidance from principals, veteran teachers or a set curriculum. Johnson insists that schools must "provide [new teachers] some shelter-a less demanding assignment or a slightly reduced load." She also recommends that schools overhaul their hiring practices, commence interviewing candidates in the spring instead of just before September, create systems for professional orientation, support collegiality,and keep teachers motivated by offering professional growth opportunities. No argument is more convincing than the statistics with which Johnson concludes: of the 50 teachers included in the study, 33% have already left teaching. This is a must-read for anyone involved in education. (Apr.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Library Journal Review

"Between 2000 and 2010, one half of the public school teachers in the United States will retire. At the same time, student enrollments continue to grow and attrition rates among new teachers soar." Who will become the next generation of teachers? How can they be effectively recruited to schools that need them? What can we do to keep them in the profession? These are the central questions behind this fascinating study by Johnson (Harvard Graduate Sch. of Education) and her colleagues in the Project on the Next Generation of Teachers. Drawing extensively on a long-term qualitative study of 50 teachers who entered the profession in the late 1990s and focusing on the experiences of ten of them, the authors identify a number of issues that keep our schools both from finding and from keeping talented new teachers. With substantive discussions of issues such as educational leadership, peer mentoring, hiring practices, and effective means of professional induction, Johnson and her coauthors outline the challenges facing new teachers in today's schools and suggest numerous ways in which teachers, administrators, and policymakers can work together to improve the experience of new teachers and to help assure that there is a next generation of professionals in our schools. Recommended for all collections.-Scott Walter, Washington State Univ. Lib., Pullman (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

US public schools face the challenge of recruiting, supporting, and retaining more than 2.2 million teachers over the next decade. Currently, 30 percent of new teachers leave teaching within three years, and 40 to 50 percent leave within five years. Expectations of teachers are at their highest, while pay and other amenities are at their lowest. This book is timely, especially when teacher shortage and school reform have become the new bywords of education. Johnson and a group of graduate students completed a longitudinal study of 50 new teachers over a period of four years. Of the 50 teachers followed in this study, ten case studies are highlighted. Documenting why they entered teaching, what they encountered in their schools, and how and why they decide to remain or leave the field of teaching, this book vividly illustrates their joys and disappointments. It uncovers the importance of the school site and the crucial role of principals and experienced mentoring teachers in the recruitment and retention of high-quality teachers. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Graduate students and beyond, including superintendents, district administrators, principals, and teacher educators. G. L. Willhite Southern Illinois University

Table of Contents

Coauthor: Morgaen L. DonaldsonCoauthor: Heather G. PeskeCoauthor: Edward LiuCoauthor: Sarah E. BirkelandCoauthor: David KauffmanCoauthor: Susan M. KardosCoauthor: Edward LiuCoauthor: Susan M. KardosCoauthor: Morgaen L. Donaldson
List of Tables, Figures, and Exhibitsp. ix
Prefacep. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xv
The Authorsp. xix
1 Greater Expectations, Higher Demandsp. 1
2 The Next Generation of Teachersp. 19
3 What Teaching Pays, What Teaching Costsp. 49
4 Seeking Success with Studentsp. 69
5 Schools That Support New Teachersp. 91
6 Filling the Curriculum Voidp. 119
7 Professional Culture and the Promise of Colleaguesp. 139
8 Making Better Matches in Hiringp. 167
9 Supporting New Teachers Through School-Based Inductionp. 193
10 Sustaining New Teachers Through Professional Growthp. 225
11 Finders and Keepersp. 249
Epiloguep. 273
Notesp. 275
Appendix A Background and Methodsp. 279
Appendix B Interview Protocolsp. 287
Referencesp. 299
Indexp. 309