Teacher Survey

I recently did a survey of teachers at my school and others.  Here is the result of that survey.

1. What grade level do you teach?

Elementary 0 0%
Junior High 24 92%
High School 2 8%
Other 0 0%

School District

midland Midland ISD MISD MISD Allen ISD Midland

2. How many years have you taught?

0 – 5 7 27%
6 – 10 7 27%
11 – 15 3 12%
16 – 20 4 15%
21 – 25 2 8%
More than 25 years 3 12%

3. Do you plan to return to the same campus next year?

Yes 17 65%
No 9 35%

4. Do you plan on returning to teaching next year?

Yes 22 85%
No 4 15%

If no, why not?

I’m going into management to try to make things better. I feel that teaching is not about learning. It is about a test. I also feel that when a school district caters to parents and will not back a teacher, it is not a profession I want to be in any longer. The students are apathetic and know there are no consequences for there behavior so until we have the guts as a state and district to do what needs to be done to take our schools back, I do not want to be a part of it. Yes, I know all about “be the change” but, as a teacher in a district that will NOT change, I have no choice but to find another profession. Lack of discipline and repercussion of major misbehavior. Student consequences are very minor so they brag about “all they got for misbehavior was this” so they end up being habitual problem makers that prohibit learning within the classroom. It is a culmination of factors such as behavior management, administrative assistance and lack of togetherness by whole staff. I am tired of feeling like I am working for nothing…not money, but results. The apathy in students, teachers and administrators is too much. Lack of discipline and communication. I can barely stand going to work anymore, little motivation and desire.

If yes, why?

I believe I can teach at a place with strong leadership, discipline and where the students are motivated to learn. After 17 years, I’m really starting to get the hang of this!I am a teacher…it’s who I am, not just what I do. too close to retirement It’s my job. I love teaching and love kids. That fact is stronger than all the negatives i face such as lack of support, lack of direction. I have a child that will be in 8th grade next year and I will like to be involved in his education. I like what I do and enjoy my job. close to retirement It is what I do. Love kids. Hate paperwork and testing. I LOVE what I do. There is nothing like sharing knowledge with today’s youth. Its a part of me. There are many downfalls to all professions. You do your job and you move forward. I could easily do something else but I know these students need someone like me. It is often tough but if I don’t do this who else will. Someone who truly doesn’t care? Have enjoyed working in the Teaching profession. I moved here after working in several other school districts and would like to end career here. I love my job, I love the staff. It’s hectic sometimes, but all and all I don’t know think I’d like to be working anywhere else! It’s a stable and secure job with its benefits.

5. Do you feel that you are treated as a professional?

Yes 15 58%
No 11 42%

6. Do you feel the students treat you with respect?

Yes 8 31%
No 18 69%

7. On a scale of 1 – 10, how well do you think your school is administrated?

1 2 8%
2 0 0%
3 4 15%
 4 2 8%
5 3 12%
6 2 8%
7 5 19%
8 7 27%
 9 0 0%
10 1 4%

8. On a scale of 1 – 10, how likely are you to continue teaching in the near (1-3 years) future.

1 1 4%
2 3 12%
3 2 8%
 4 1 4%
5 3 12%
6 0 0%
7 0 0%
8 4 15%
 9 3 12%
10 9 35%

9. On a scale of 1 – 10, how motivated are your students to succeed in your class and school?

1 3 12%
2 3 12%
3 2 8%
 4 4 15%
5 5 19%
6 1 4%
7 3 12%
8 3 12%
 9 2 8%
10 0 0%

10. The biggest problem at my school is:

My Curriculum 1 1%
The Administration 10 13%
Student Apathy 20 25%
Discipline 18 23%
Time Demands Outside of Classroom 4 5%
Parents 3 4%
Testing 7 9%
Other Teachers 5 6%
Meetings 0 0%
Teacher Apathy 6 8%
Too Much Emphasis on Athletics/Extracurricular 1 1%
Other 4 5%

My turn, this is how I feel about teaching, school and the general state of education today.

Our schools are weak ,as far as, rigor. Today’s advanced students are not as good as typical students from the 1990s and prior. The schools completely fail with dicipline. No dicipline equals no learning. We’ve taken God out of the schools. That’s the bigest mistake. We need a radical (i.e., root-level) re-thinking about the goals of the education system and, from there, a re-tooling of every facet of the system itself (from classrooms to desks to cirriculam). Short of that, we need, at least, to re-visit the notion that public education is a right or privledge that can, like anyother, can be forfeit if the person (child or parent) refuses the responsibility that goes with the right.There is no accountability for bad student behavior. We cannot teach if there is not order. I like the students for the most part, but some completely destroy a class in no time. It is not fair for other students to have the misbehavior of others disrupt their classes. This and this alone can almost drive a teacher out of the classroom. I believe the education system has allowed students to dictate too much. We have relaxed on discipline and made excuses, parents included, and have created students who are lazy, unmotivated and have no desire for their own future. We do not challenge them because we are too inclusive in our classes and have multiple learning levels within one classroom. Teachers end up teaching down and the more advanced kids end up getting bored, unmotivated and fall in the cycle of the initial unmotivated students. The curriculum is too easy and we teach it as if it is proper grade level just to have a higher percentage of passing students so it doesn’t look bad on the staff and school. We are dumbing down the next generation who will someday ruin the world, I mean run the world. We need higher standards, not more testing. We need more discipline, for the students not teachers. We need to reinstate spanking and physical reminders for behavioral issues and we need immediate consequences at the first sign of behavioral issues, not two months down the road after we’ve let it escalate to madness. I enjoy teaching but rarely get to do so. I spend precious classroom time dealing with discipline issues instead of pouring knowledge into the hungry students who will benefit from instruction. I LIVE teaching and I live what I do. I have a problem with apathy and lack of personal responsibility on the part of students and parents. Everything is ” someone else’s fault”. Teachers take the blame for students who are lazy. I just wish students had the work ethic that we were required to have. Society makes too many excuses. The lack of discpline is hindering the ability to effectively teach and maintain classroom management. Also, the lack of communication between administration and teachers makes for a confusing and frustrating work environment. The state of education is pathetic. The people in Austin have no idea what it is to be in the classroom teaching, yet they are deciding for teachers what they should and should not be allowed to do. The state and for that matter, school district, blames the teacher for EVERYTHING. No accountability on the students or parents part. Teaching can be a wonderful and fullfilling job. It has its ups and downs but that is the way it is in any job. You make your job what it is! Students no longer have respect for teachers. In the classroom I am respected but outside of it, it’s a different story. Some teachaers take advantage of their job and do not do what they are suppose to do such as, coming in late to work, not on duty, not leaving lesson plans when they are absent and taking off work just because. Students are not all equally punished for their offense. It is still different strokes for different folks! Education as a whole is going downhill because value is no longer placed on it. Kids are more interested in going to their select athletic events out of town than staying in school. Parents are placing value on other things and not education, so kids are doing the same. Teaching has become the most exhausting thing I do. My school has no motivation or morale. I truly feel that education is at an all time low and I feel that the system is unfixable without drastic society changes. Kids don’t care about grades. They know people who don’t have an education that make more money than teachers. Some kids come to school because they have to. Others come because of athletics. Others come to be educated. However, when the school has discipline problems, everyone suffers including teachers. I love teaching. I love when kids thank me when I correct them (it happens sometimes) and when we work through an assignment and they squirm in their seats and furrow their brows and say “this is hard.” I do not love that for most of my on-level students, learning anything at all outside of class is not even a consideration. Study? Complete a homework assignment? They will tell you before they leave that they won’t even keep up with it until the next day, much less complete, much less complete it with an intention to learn. What happens when those kids take home a failing grade? I have no idea. Seemingly not much. Maybe some yelling – do they even look at grades? Maybe returning to a system that offers more vocational options will make a difference. If parents could be held accountable for discipline issues, that would make a difference. Out of school suspensions result in fines (per day of suspension) or community service (per day of suspension). In school suspension means completing some kind of online learning something – an educational task, or a certain number of hours of I-Station, or a character ed program if such a thing is online – something that has to be successfully accomplished before they can be released. The good kids? They are really, really good. I’m not worried about the kids who will be running our country – I’m worried about the kids who won’t be.It sucks! I feel that school has become a babysitting job more than an opportunity to educate the children. The school system as a whole is great if the 2-5% that don’t want to be educated and in the process prevent those that want to be educated had other opportunities. I have a unique group of motivated students. When working with regular American students, however, many have the attitude that they are “entitled” to be given an education and do not feel the need to work for it. There is a lack of respect in general for all authority figures – starting with the media’s portrayal of the President of the United States. We have tried for years now to standardize everything including education and what we are finding is that “an education for all.” and standardizement do not work well together. We are producing a future generation of disenfranchised citizens because their needs could not be met from age 5-18 in the current educatin system. I feel administrations hands are tied with the worst offenders. We as educators do not have any authority any more. As I stated earlier, I love what I get to do in my classroom. I do not enjoy the stuff I deal with outside my classroom. I feel Midland is breeding an apathetic group of students and inabling them to do poorly with policies like late work and redos. What happened to the days of doing what you are supposed to do because it is the right thing to do? I love teaching, but this has been the most difficult year I have had. For the most part, the kids are ok and and I have had no problems with parents, but I feel taken for granted and basically I feel administration has little respect for me. I am a professional with an extensive education and I work 60 hours a week, but this year I am dodging “gotchas”. Our superintendent say “we”, but on this campus it is us vs you. It is not to hard to say thank you and show compassion and caring to your staff… Teaching is a great profession that is falling by the wayside as a result of higher demands and oversight by our state government and is being micromanaged at the District and Campus levels. Too much emphasis is being placed on state mandated tests and curriculum and thus restricts what a teacher can teach and do within the public education system. Continuously diminishing education funds are also a major concern on the state and local levels within public schools, unless you’re in an area that has a high return on mineral and land rights. Another disappointing factor is catering to our students and not having equal consequences for equal actions. There is a great amount of disparity when it comes to behavior management and discipline within schools and districts. Our state government does not help much either with their House Bills that restrict Class C Misdemeanors within a school system. Our Legislators are disconnected with today’s world of education and all the aspects that go into developing a well run public education system. It has changed but the students still need good teachers who care. To say we have an education system is an oxymoron. If businesses were run as we do the education process America would be bankrupt. the failure rate for this school system is phenomenal and must be changed to improve the condition of our society or our little neck of the woods in Midland. Teachers can only work with what we are given and the quality of students has been in a steady decline for many years now. I anticipate, until teachers come together as a collective and explain to whom ever will listen that it is not us but the kids, change will come even more slowly. Separate learners from career workers(laborers) is needed to improve scores for students who want to learn. Just my opinion. I think teachers understand their content, but are struggling with motivating students and dealing with behavior problems in class–talking back, argumentative, defiant, and/or apathetic behavior can severely impact the learning environment for the students who are engaged.

About the Author

Todd