Friday, September 3, 2010

Poll: 40 percent of teachers discontented

A new poll has some disheartening news about the nation's teachers. About 40 percent of the 4 million k-12 teachers nationwide are discontented and disappointed with their jobs shows. And more than half of those unhappy teachers work in low-income schools.

Public Agenda and Learning Point Associates conducted the research which showed that only 14 percent of those "disenchanted" teachers rate their principals as "excellent" at supporting them. Nearly three-quarters cite "discipline and behavior issues" in the classroom as a drawback to teaching, and 7 in 10 say that testing is a major drawbacks as well.

By contrast, the 23 percent of teachers who the researchers dubbed "idealists" and the 37 percent they labeled "contented" were more likely to say their principal was supportive, more likely to say their school was orderly, and more likely to say good teachers can make a difference in student learning. But fewer of them worked in low-income schools - just 34 percent of the contented and 45 percent of the idealists.

The researchers said their "Teaching for a Living" survey can't decipher whether the disenchanted are bad teachers, or good teachers trapped in bad schools, or whether the idealists are effective in the classroom or just more optimistic. But they said the survey does reveal something about what teachers believe their problems are, and could help explain why some things work and others don't in success in the classroom.

What do you think?

Find the survey at