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Module 4: Strategic Retention and Intervention

This module focuses on teacher strategic retention and intervention, which includes retaining highly effective teachers and intervening to support teachers who are not meeting performance standards. Specifically, this module emphasizes the importance of developing strategies for struggling and high-performing teachers. As with topics in previous modules, it is recommended to start thinking about retention and intervention strategies at the beginning of the school year by considering multiple data sources you could use to identify teachers you want to keep and teachers who need extra support. In order to create a culture of excellence, ongoing, positive, constructive feedback on teacher performance is essential.

We recognize that in some cases there are district-specific requirements to recommend tenured teachers for dismissal, which may include the development and execution of a formal growth or intervention plan. In those cases, this module is a supplement to already established processes.

Learning Objectives

After completing this module, you will be able to:

  • Develop a plan to strategically retain highly effective teachers.
  • Assess teacher support needs and identify teachers in need of strategic intervention using multiple sources of data.
  • Construct and implement intervention plans that address evidence-based areas of challenge or struggle, recommended actions, a timeline and monitoring plan, and expected measurable outcomes.

Questions to think about during this module:

  • What strategies do you use to retain your most effective teachers?
  • How do you intervene when you notice a teacher is struggling?
  • How do you use teacher evaluation and effectiveness data to identify teachers who are performing well and teachers who need additional support?
  • How do you provide ongoing and constructive feedback to your teachers to ensure they feel supported? How do you provide ongoing and constructive feedback and support to your teachers to ensure that they are developing (or growing)?

Video Introduction to Strategic Retention and Intervention


  1. Start Early: Begin thinking about teacher retention and intervention early in the school year. For struggling teachers, start a growth or intervention plan as early in the school year as possible to ensure sufficient time to implement it and to monitor progress.
  2. Monitor Multiple Data Sources: Monitor multiple sources of data to identify high performers and struggling teachers.
  3. Provide Regular Feedback: Provide teachers with ongoing, appropriately positive or constructive feedback on their performance, which is important for both high performers and struggling teachers and for creating a culture of excellence.
  4. Develop specific strategies for retaining high performers and intervening with struggling teachers.
    1. For high performers: Acknowledge and recognize high performers. Identify opportunities for high performers to take on teacher leadership roles. Meet individually with high performers to have a conversation about what it would take for them to return to the school next year.  Co-identify opportunities for them to contribute to the instructional improvement of your school, which may include additional teacher leadership roles. Be careful not to “reward” their effective instructional practice with additional roles or responsibilities they may not be willing or able to take on.
    2. For struggling teachers: Create formal growth or intervention plans. Set specific targets and improvement goals for struggling teachers, establish a process for monitoring progress towards those goals, and provide teachers with supports for meeting them.

Quick Reads

Read the following article:

Additional resources:


Complete the first two columns for both the high-performing and struggling teacher on the Strategic Retention and Intervention Reflection. Save the document for future reference.

Instructions and Activities for Module 4:

We strongly recommend that you proceed with this module in the order the pages are listed below. Each page contains readings and activities design to build knowledge and skills that will prepare you for success with the summative activity.

Continue to Module 4: Retaining Effective Teachers