Date of Submission


Document Type



Doctor of Education




retention, mentorship, self-determination theory, international education, transformational leadership


This Organizational Improvement Plan (OIP) explores how best to support Green Planet Academy (GPA; a pseudonym), an international school in a large Asian city, in improving teacher retention beyond initial two-year contracts. The problem of practice that is addressed is the current low retention of teachers and lack of a plan to retain them. Through a variety of lenses, including a social constructivist worldview, self-determination theory, distributive leadership, and transformational leadership, the specified problem of teacher retention problem is framed and analyzed. Teachers moving around to various international schools is not out of the ordinary, indeed it is almost expected, but understanding what positive teacher retention looks like in overseas education can inform best practices that can benefit both the teacher and the educational institution. External and internal factors are considered that are within the administration’s agency to make positive change. Five possible solutions to remediate the problem of practice are presented and evaluated. The chosen solution, a combination of improving hiring processes and instituting a mentorship program, is based on a timeline from the change path model that will create a sense of teacher empowerment. It will also build agency and confidence for individual teachers, which, it is proposed, will ultimately lead to their continued employment at GPA. Implementation, evaluation, and communication plans are presented to detail how GPA can communicate the change, move forward with the solution to keep teachers retained for longer periods of time, and evaluate progress. The proposed mentorship program would involve the participation of mentee teachers (new hires) and mentor teachers selected from among the current staff, as well as facilitation from administration. Mentee teachers would be expected to develop goals throughout their time at GPA. Mentor teachers would be in an advisory role, giving suggestions and scheduling regular check-ins. Administrators would be responsible for ensuring the smooth running of the program. Finally, next steps are explored that involve making the mentorship program even more rigorous, streamlining some hiring practices, and considering additional pastoral care elements.