Is this the reason for our ailing education system?
A new survey paints a troubling portrait of the American educator: Teacher job satisfaction has hit its lowest point in a quarter of a century, and 75 percent of principals believe their jobs have become too complex.
The findings are part of the MetLife Survey of the American Teacher: Challenges for School Leadership. Conducted annually since 1984, the survey polled representative sampling of 1,000 teachers and 500 principals in K-12 schools across the country.
Only 39 percent of teachers described themselves as very satisfied with their jobs on the latest survey. That's a 23-percentage point plummet since 2008, and a drop of five percentage points just over the past year. Factors contributing to lower job satisfaction included working in schools where the budgets, opportunities for professional development, and time for collaboration with colleagues have all been sent to the chopping block.
Stress levels are also up, with half of all teachers describing themselves as under great stress several days per week, compared with a third of teachers in 1985.
"This news is disappointing but sadly, there are no surprises here. Teacher job satisfaction will continue to free fall as long as budgets are slashed," said Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association. "Educators are doing everything they can to provide the best education possible for their students, but the rug just keeps getting pulled out from under them."