Teachers Less Satisfied with Jobs

March 9, 2012 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Teachers are less satisfied with their jobs than they have been in decades, according to the MetLife Survey of the American Teacher: Teachers, Parents and the Economy.

Teacher job satisfaction has fallen by 15 percentage points since 2009—the last time the MetLife survey queried teachers on this topic—from 59% to 44% responding they are very satisfied. This rapid decline in job satisfaction is coupled with a large increase in the number of teachers reporting that they are likely to leave teaching for another occupation (17% in 2009 vs. 29% today).   

Teachers are also more than four times as likely now than they were five years ago to say that they do not feel their job is secure (34% today vs. 8% in 2006, the last time this question was asked). In addition, 53% of parents and 65% of teachers today say that teachers’ salaries are not fair for the work they do.  

The survey found that teachers with higher job satisfaction are more likely to have experienced adequate opportunities for professional development, time to collaborate with other teachers, and more preparation and support for engaging parents effectively.   

The ripple effects from the economic downturn may be a factor in this declining satisfaction and increasing insecurity. Layoffs of teachers, staff and parent/community liaisons occurred last year in the schools of two-thirds of teachers, and three-quarters (76%) of teachers have experienced budget cuts in their schools in the last 12 months.