Survey Finds TN Teachers Are Satisfied With Their Jobs - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Survey Finds TN Teachers Are Satisfied With Their Jobs

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by Aundrea Cline-Thomas

SMYRNA, Tenn. - Despite a noticeable increase in a teacher's workload, a vast majority in Tennessee said they're happy with their jobs.

More than 61,000 teachers across the state took an anonymous survey conducted by the New Teacher Center. Governor Haslam, Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman and other educators gathered in Rutherford County to unveil the results Tuesday.

From changing the tenure process to new teacher evaluations, the profession has changed drastically in the past two years, all in the name of increasing student achievement.

A new survey checked-in with teachers to see how they're doing.

"A lot of times you feel like they don't always ask us our opinions so it is very nice," Jennifer Secrest, Stewarts Creek 4th grade teacher said.

The survey did not specifically address the recent changes in law that affect the classroom, but it did ask questions dealing with teacher's work environment, professional development and school culture.

"I feel like it's important that when they ask us questions that we can be honest," 3rd  grade teacher Allison Ragan said. "That's why it was nice that it was anonymous. I feel like my voice was heard."

Of the teachers surveyed, 68 percent agreed they had enough time to meet the needs of all students.

Eighty-three percent said they were supported by school leadership. Eighty-four percent want to continue teaching at their current school.

"I think these results are incredibly encouraging for us," Governor Bill Haslam said. "We want our decisions to be driven by data in Tennessee."

The idea was that there's a direct correlation between teacher's job satisfaction and student achievement. That's why state leaders want districts and individual schools use the data to further improve the work environment for teachers.

"I view the tool as an opportunity to give schools and district's the chance to learn from each other," Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman said.

Ragan and Secrest said the results validate their hard work.

"Things are really looking up and everybody's working hard to reach our goals," Secrest said.

"I love my job. So I want people to know that we're not all unhappy," Ragan added. "There are positive things happening and that we are working be able to do our job well."

The survey was first administered in 2011. Since then, there's been an improvement in most areas.


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