Teacher Satisfaction-LOW-disturbing but not surprising

The newest MetLife Survey of the American Teacher… (Harris Interactive study) is out.  Link is:

http://www.metlife.com/assets/cao/contributions/foundation/american-teacher/MetLife-Teacher-Survey-2011.pdf

Teachers’ job satisfaction has declined to 44% being very satisfied (down 15%-points from 2009).

This is disturbing but not surprising.  I have always sensed that teacher satisfaction with their work influences the experiences they give their assigned students.

The study does not point to any sort of causality; however, our lessons learned from the schools we operate in the Distinctive Schools Network have informed new ideas and validated my long-time closely held views about the work.

1.  Any sort of school reform or performance acceleration must be done with teachers and not to teachers.

2.  Once #1 is part of your leadership play-book, big-hairy-audacious goals can be made and achieved.

3.  Simply subscribing to a that which gets measured, gets done mentality is not enough.  Appropriate supports to help teachers easily and effectively use (and collaborate) on their performance data is an imperative.

4.  Performance pay for teachers and school leaders is another key element of sustainable high achieving schooling for kids.  This must be added to already healthy base salaries, and based on small team performance, tied to performance goals and indicators that teachers helped to establish.

5.  Maybe the most important component to teacher satisfaction and school improvement is a balanced approach to teaching quality.  Balanced means frequent teacher observations, frequent feedback by a qualified coach, and teacher performance evaluation based on multiple measures.

What did I miss?  Distinctive Schools teachers, I Imagine a survey of only our cohort of teachers would yield higher teacher satisfaction?  If so, what are the drivers?  If I am off-based, what are those drivers?  Comments welcomed, here or on my email privately.

THX for reading!

JW

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One Comment on “Teacher Satisfaction-LOW-disturbing but not surprising

  1. http://educationnext.org/the-problem-with-one-size-fits-all-approaches-to-teacher-quality/#comments link to article

    Fredrick Hess posted an article in Education Next Blog dealing with teacher quality and evaluation. He mentions in his article the idea of having a third party performing the task of teacher evaluation. Yes, of course administration is an integrate part of it as well as the teachers. However, I believe a third party or outside eyes need to step in to legitimize the evaluation. If a Principal’s evaluation is determine by the teachers performance and that Principal is doing the evaluation it is more likely that the Principal will give teachers high marks. Same situation with teaches performing their own evaluations. That’s like me asking my students to grade their own tests.

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