A Fascinating survey of the demographics and beliefs of US school teachers, from the National Center for Education Information.
K-12 public school teachers in the United States are amazingly similar over time. They constitute a unique profession that has self-propagated itself for at least the last half century. But, due to an influx of individuals from non-traditional backgrounds entering teaching through non-traditional preparation programs, the teaching force may be changing.
One-third of first-time public school teachers hired since 2005 entered the profession through an alternative program other than a college campus-based teacher education program.
The findings throughout this survey illustrate striking differences between this non-traditional population of new teachers and teachers who enter teaching through undergraduate and graduate college campus-based teacher education programs, especially in attitudes concerning current proposed school reform measures and ways to strengthen teaching as a profession, such as:
- Getting rid of tenure for teachers
- Performance-based pay
- Market-driven teacher pay – paying teachers more to teach in high needs schools and high demand subjects
- Recruiting individuals from other careers into teaching and school administration
- Using student achievement to evaluate teacher effectiveness
The findings also show amazing similarities among all teachers surveyed, regardless of their backgrounds, how they prepared to teach, their age, how long they’ve been teaching and other variables we analyzed the data by. Public school teachers surveyed:
- Strongly support getting rid of incompetent teachers regardless of seniority
- Are generally satisfied with their jobs and various aspects of teaching
- Think they are competent to teach
- Rate their teacher preparation programs highly
- Consider the same things as valuable in developing competence to teach – their own teaching experiences and working with other teachers/colleagues top the list
- Plan to be teaching K-12 five years from now