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Teachers less likely to recommend teaching profession to friend or colleague

The wave of teacher strikes continues, with the latest one currently underway in Denver, Colorado. Denver teachers are on strike over wages and compensation (specifically, how the district pays them)—a common theme of other strikes and protests that have occurred around the country.

But survey results of current public school teachers suggest there may be deeper issues within the teaching profession beyond frustration over teacher pay and school funding.

EdChoice’s “2018 Schooling in America” survey used part of its annual online questionnaire to learn more about educators’ outlook on the teaching profession. To measure a teacher’s “enthusiasm” for the profession, EdChoice asked respondents how likely, on a scale of zero to 10, they would recommend teaching in a public school to a friend or colleague. Their answers placed them in one of three categories:

A “Promoter” is someone who gives a nine or 10. This person shows a high degree of loyalty, commitment, and enthusiasm.

A “Passive” is someone who answers with a seven or eight. This profile can be described as being satisfied and content, but not someone who would go out of her/his way to boost a brand, product, or organization.

“Detractors” are those people who responded in the range of zero to six. This group is unhappy and ready to move away from a brand, product, or organization.

Three-fourths of teachers (74 percent) were Passives (32 percent) or Detractors (42 percent). Meaning, they are less likely to recommend teaching to a friend or colleague. And these aren’t just the burned-out veterans or teachers working with more challenging student populations. Or those on the lower end of the salary spectrum. The results factored in various age groups, incomes, years of experience, grades taught, and communities served.

So, why is their outlook on the teaching profession not more positive?

The numerous educators we have heard from do not feel their professional needs are being met. They do not feel as supported as they would like to when it comes to handling student behavior in the classroom, and they are overwhelmed with endless paperwork.

There are those who would argue salary satisfaction and job satisfaction go hand-in-hand. Which very well could be/most likely is part of the teacher satisfaction formula. But to help elevate the profession and better attract and retain educators, there are additional components teachers have voiced concerns over that should be addressed.

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