UNSUNG HEROES: TEACHERS SPEAK OUT ABOUT TEACHING, LEARNING, AND JOB SATISFACTION
Teaching is a challenging profession in itself, but coupled with high stakes testing and scrutiny by politicians and the media, it has become a discouraging and insecure profession. This research study sought to identify beliefs of teachers about teaching and learning in today’s culture of accountability. Eighty-one of the participants (88%) taking the survey were currently employed. Of those participants currently employed, sixty-four of the participants (70%) taught in a K-12 public school district, eight (9%) taught in K-12 private non-parochial school districts, and thirteen (14%) taught in a parochial school setting. Fifty-five participants (60%) were relative beginners to teaching, having taught 1-6 years. Sixteen participants (18%) had taught 7-10 years, eleven participants (12%) had been in the teaching profession 11-20 years and two participants (2%) had taught more than twenty years. Even though most of the teachers in this study felt valued in their community, they felt their profession, namely teaching, was not highly respected. This would seem to indicate that the individuals who responded felt personally valued, although they saw their profession overall as one that lacked respect.
Keywords:teacher opinions, workplace stress, teacher attrition.
Buckner, A. (2002). Teaching in a world focused on testing. Language Arts, 79(3), 212-215.
Bryd-Blake, M. (2010). Morale of teachers in high poverty schools: A post-NCBL mixed methods analysis. Education and Urban Society 42(4),450-472.
Carr, N. (2012). Building morale.American School Board Journal 199(6),30-31.
Clavel, M. (2004).The union label.American School Board Journal 191(9), 60-61.
Curtis, C. (2012). Why do they choose to teach – and why do they leave? A study of middle school and high school mathematics teacher.Education, 123(20),779-788.
Fleisher, L. (2012, February 8). Cuomo pushes teacher evaluations. The Wall Street Journal.Retrieved fromhttp://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203735304577167330205061936.html.
Giroux, H. A. (2003). The abandoned generation. New York: Palgrave MacMillan.
Giroux, H. A. (2006). America on the edge. New York: Palgrave MacMillan.
Glen, R. (1996) Excellence in advertising. The IPA guide to best practice. Oxford: Butterworth Heinemann. Suter, W.N. (2012). Introduction to Educational Research (2nded.). Los Angeles, CA: Sage
Huysman, J. (2008). Rural teacher satisfaction: An analysis of benefits and attitudes of rural teacher job satisfaction. Rural Educator, 29(2), 31-38.
Kalwaic, J. (2013). Teachers boycott standardized tests. Industrial Worker, 110(3).
Kyriacou, C. (1989). The nature and prevalence of teacher stress. In M. Cole and S. Walker(Eds.), Teaching and Stress (27-34). Philadelphia, PA: Open University Press.
Le Maistre, C. & Pare׳, A. (2010). Whatever it takes, how beginning teachers learn to survive. Teaching & Teacher Education, 26(3), 559-564.
Loeb, S. & Darling-Hammond, L. (2005). How teaching conditions predict teacher turnover inCalifornia schools. Peabody Journal of Education, 80(3), 44-70.
Lumsden, L. (1998). Teacher morale: ERIC Digest, Number 120, ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 422601.
Malone, B. G., Bonitz, D. A., &Rickett, M. M. (1998). Teacher perceptions of disruptive behavior: Maintaining instructional focus. Educational Horizons, 76(4),189–194 as cited in Allen, K.P. (2010) Classroom management, bullying, and teacher practices. The Professional Educator 34(1). Retrieved from http://www.haynesunited.org/inschoolsuccess/teachers/Journal%20Article,%20Classroom%20Management,%20Bullying,%20and%20Teacher%20Practices.pdf
Mathison, Sandra, & Freeman, M. (2006).Teacher stress in high stakes testing. In Richard Lambert & Christopher McCarthy (Eds.), Understanding teacher stress in the age of accountabilty( 43-63). Greenwich, Connecticut: Information Age Publishing.
MetLife Survey of the American Teacher, A survey of Teachers, Parents and Students (March 2012).Conducted by Harris Interactive. ED530021No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. PL, 107-110.
Nolan, C. &Stitzlein, S. M. (2011). Meaningful hope for teachers in times of high
anxiety and low morale. Democracy & Education, 19(1), 1-10
Schuldt, B. A., & Totten, J. W. (1994).Electronic mail vs. mail survey response rates.Marketing Research 6(1), 36–39.
Smith. M. (2012, February 1.) Texas schools chief’s remarks on testing draw backlash. The Texas Tribune. Retrieved from http://www.texastribune.org/texas-education/public-education/texas-schools-chiefs-remarks-testing-draw-backlash/
Suter, W.N. (2012). Introduction to Educational Research (2nded.). Los Angeles, CA: Sage.
Tartar, L. & McDonald, C. S. (2006, Sept. 5). K-12 Teachers report increase stress levels; New CompassLearning Survey documents Trend; New survey results from CompassLearning report increase in teacher stress levels. Business Wire.
Teachers Debate Standardized Test. (2000, October 13). Issues & Controversies On File. Retrieved from http://www.2facts.com/article/ib502340.
Trimble, L. (2003, May 30)Teacher turnover troubles; Area schools scramble to stem early departures: (FINAL Edition).Daytona Beach News, 01A.
Truell, A. D. (2003). Use of internet tools for survey research.Information Technology, Learning, and Performance Journal 21(1), 31-37.Trujillo, T. (2012, June 14). The paradoxical logic of school turnarounds: A catch-22. Teachers College Record, Retrieved from http://www.tcrecord.org/Content.asp?ContentId=16797
Vail, K., (December 2005). Create great school climate. The Education Digest 71(4), 4-11.
Walsh, J. P., Kiesler, S., Sproull, L. S., & Hesse, B. W. (1992). Self-selected and randomly selected respondents in a computer network survey. Public Opinion Quarterly, 56, 241–244.
Weiss, E. M. (1999). Perceived workplace conditions and first-year teachers’ morale, career choice commitment, and planned retention: A secondary analysis, Teaching and Teacher Education 15(8),861-879.
Willis, M. & Varner, L.W. (2010).Factors that affect teacher morale, Academic Leadership, 8(41).
Copyright (c) 2016 International Journal of Global Education (IJGE) ISSN: 2146-9296
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.