Survey: teacher job satisfaction drops to new low

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by Tim Walker

Teachers are less satisfied with their jobs than they have been in decades, according to the 2012 MetLife Survey of the American Teacher. Almost one-third of teachers are thinking of leaving the profession they love – due in part to the unconscionable cuts in education funding. NEA President Dennis Van Roekel described this finding as “shocking” and said it was clear evidence that ill-conceived economic policies are having devastating consequences on teachers and students across the country. More than three quarters of the teachers surveyed reported that their school’s budget had decreased.

“I have heard similar concerns from NEA members,” Van Roekel said. “They have told me that staff and important programs have been cut; early childhood education has been eliminated; computers and text-books were out of date; and classes such as history, art, PE and music—which provide a well-rounded education—are no longer offered.”

The MetLife Survey of the American Teacher: Teachers, Parents and the Economy, the 28th in an annual series commissioned by MetLife and conducted by Harris Interactive, examines the views of teachers, parents and students about the teaching profession, parent and community engagement, and effects of the economy on teaching and learning in schools.

Two-thirds of the teachers surveyed reported that layoffs of teachers, staff and parent/community liaisons occurred at their school in 2011, and three-quarters have experienced budget cuts in their schools in the last 12 months. The survey also found that teachers and parents of students in these cash-strapped schools are more likely to be pessimistic that student achievement will be better in five years than are teachers and parents of students in schools where budgets have remained the same or increased.

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Reader Comments

  1. I want our working teachers to know that they are today’s heroes for staying in our profession in difficult times. However, there have been many that suffered more in the early days of our profession. Much of the road had been paved by the educator pioneers prior to many of our current teachers starting their profession. Stick with it for the sake of the children who are the future. With your training, commitment, hard work, and dedication you cannot be defeated! Look to change in leadership in the White House before it’s too late. School budgets don’t stand a chance against a rising tide of unemployment and failing businesses. The country cannot take on more debt at the hands of someone intent on destroying the middle class workers… the backbone of America. Stick to your personal goals, the core values of the profession, and the American way. You will be victorious! Use your vote in 2012 to say enough is enough. We’re taking back America and making sure she gets back on the right track. As the economy improves, so shall the workplace, and voters will support education as they have never done before. Why? Because you have the ability to carry the torch into the darkness and light the way! Believe it!

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