SCHOOL ORGANIZATIONAL HEALTH AND TEACHER SUSTAINABILITY: CANADIAN OFFSHORE SCHOOLS IN EGYPT
University of British Columbia (CANADA)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2011 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Conference name: 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2011
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:Global mobility of the workforce and competition to attract and retain top talent compels organizations to develop healthy workplace environments that support employee engagement, well-being and retention. Within the education sector, many studies examine issues surrounding teacher retention, however, only a few studies were found that examine expatriate teacher turnover in international schools. While these studies contemplate the role of the workplace environment, they do not examine expatriate teacher turnover from a workplace health perspective. Thus, the primary objective of this study was to determine if workplace health plays a role in expatriate teacher sustainability in international schools from the perspectives of expatriate teachers, and in doing so, provide a new way to think about the role of international school environments in supporting expatriate teacher sustainability.
Teachers were interviewed at Canadian Offshore Schools in Egypt and qualitative data analysis was undertaken using inductive thematic analysis. The findings of this study revealed that workplace health plays a role in expatriate teachers’ decisions to leave or remain working at Canadian Offshore Schools in Egypt. Supportive relationships with administrators and colleagues, opportunities for career development and growth, job challenge, work demands and adequate compensation and benefits were among the features described by expatriate teachers as important to retention. Other reasons to stay were associated with the development of relationships beyond the schools and personal motivations.
A number of implications arise from this study that may help to support expatriate teacher sustainability in Canadian Offshore Schools in Egypt. In addition to elements associated with workplace health, specific recommendations obtained from teachers concerning the recruitment process and the role schools can play in providing support to teachers to build relationships within and beyond the schools shed light on important issues that can serve to enhance teacher retention.
This research supports prior literature and provides a new lens through which to view teacher retention in Canadian Offshore Schools in Egypt. The first-hand perspective of expatriate teachers demonstrated in this study reinforces the role of workplace health in employee retention and provides information to support international workplace practices and recruitment and retention strategies toward organizational sustainability.
Keywords: Teacher retention, teacher turnover, Canadian Offshore Schools, healthy workplace, recruitment and retention, expatriate, organizational sustainability.