Teacher retention is a problem for the teaching profession. We are losing teachers in their first few years at an alarming rate. My study with NZCER entitled "Teachers of Promise: Aspirations and realities" has targetted teachers of promise to ascertain what factors serve to keep our best teachers motivated and committed to their jobs. The focus for this longitudinal study is 57 promising primary and secondary teachers from their 3rd to 7th years of teaching. These teachers have been interviewed to ascertain their reasons for choosing teaching as a career, their pathways into teaching (first career or second career choices), experiences of initial teacher education and induction, progressions into positions of responsibility, support for new responsibilities and career plans.