In the March 7th, 2012 issue of Education Week – Teacher an article called “Survey: Teacher Job Satisfaction Hits a Low Point”said that according to the 28th annual MetLife Survey of the American Teacher, only 44% of teachers are very satisfied with their jobs. In 2009, the last survey conducted, 59% were very satisfied and that is an extremely significant drop of 15%. Also included in the report was a massive 34% of America’s teachers not feeling any security with their jobs; this more than quadrupled the percent of 2006 when a mere 8% of our teachers had to worry about feeding their families
Anyone who has been listening to me or reading my blogs in the last few years are sufficiently well-informed not to be surprised by these findings. Unfortunately there are not an abundant amount of individuals in power who are listening or perhaps they simply do not care.
Discontented, frazzled teachers do not make better teachers; it has them thinking about quitting time verses study time; it has them spending more time looking over their backs verses watching over their students; it has teachers desperately anxious with satisfying administration verses thoughtfully immersed in their students education. More and more America’s businesses are learning that happy employees increase production, so how is it that leaders in education continue to make decisions that create disgruntled, frustrated employees.
The article stated this “low point” was a likely consequence of the economic downturn. Everyone is going through the same downturn; however it does not affect everyone’s job satisfaction. As I have bellowed in every realm possible, until teachers are treated with the respect they deserve by the parents, administration and leadership, students will continue to regard teachers in this same contempt and condescending manner. Contented teachers will continue to decline as long as they are treated in this fashion.
Another finding, even more disturbing, would be that twenty-nine percent of teachers are likely to leave the profession in the next five years. Although this may decrease the amount of money needed for salaries, I would find it startling if anyone believed it would be better for children.