Teachers rate jobs in survey

September 24, 2000

Teachers rate jobs in survey

By TARA REILLY / Staff Writer

Washington County teachers disagreed with most of the statements in a survey measuring how they feel about their jobs, which included issues such as mandated tests, administrative support, tuition reimbursement, health issues and the number of hours teachers work.


Sharon Chirgott, president of the Washington County Teachers Association, said the results reflect the more than 40 concerns they presented to the School Board in April.

"It was a tool that enabled us to quantify what they had been saying all along," Chirgott said.

The association handed out 1,240 surveys from May 1 to 12 to all teachers, including those who aren't members of the association. The results were based on 655 returned surveys.

Teachers were asked to rate 35 statements on a scale of one to five. A response of one meant teachers strongly disagreed with the statement, two meant teachers disagreed, three meant they neither agreed nor disagreed, four meant they agreed, and five meant they strongly agreed.


For 22 of the statements, the average rank showed that teachers either disagreed or strongly disagreed. The average rank for the remaining 13 statements indicated teachers neither disagreed nor agreed with the statements.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Eighty-three percent of teachers disagreed that they have the appropriate time and support to implement new directives or new aspects of the curriculum.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Seventy-five percent disagreed that the amount of time they spend preparing students for mandated tests is not excessive.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Seventy-two percent disagreed that they are compensated fairly, while 70 percent disagreed that the monetary compensation for additional coursework is accurate.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Nearly 71 percent disagreed that they feel valued by the schools superintendent.

But while most of the statements received negative responses, there were some statements that teachers agreed with.

"Even with all of our concerns, 62 percent have job satisfaction in their work and at their school, and 77 percent of the teachers feel successful in their work," Chirgott said. "We believe these numbers speak to the positive feeling that teachers still get from interacting with students."

Nearly 65 percent of want to be more involved in the decision making process in their school.

Sixty percent feel supported by administrators in holding students accountable for their behavior.

Chirgott said association members have met with the School Board to discuss the concerns.

"They recognize the need to have conversation, and this just supports what we've been saying," Chirgott said.

Board President Paul Bailey said the results are useful information that will help the board come up with responses to teacher concerns.

"It will help us prioritize the concerns and examine the needs that the teachers have indicated," Bailey said. "We would like to look at them and crunch the numbers a little bit more carefully."

He also said teachers should be commended for continuing to feel successful in their work, even though their jobs can be demanding.

"Teaching is a very stressful, demanding occupation right now and we continue to raise the standards," Bailey said. "But there is a high degree of job satisfaction, in spite of it being very stressful and very demanding."

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