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Data Shows Teacher Satisfaction Lowest in County's "Renaissance" Schools

Data Shows Teacher Satisfaction Lowest in County's "Renaissance" Schools

In Tampa, Florida, where the schools that serve the lowest income-earning areas are named renaissance schools, new survey data has revealed that teachers from these areas experience the lowest job satisfaction rates compared with countywide data.

Because schools located in high poverty districts often are wrought with behavioral problems and weak parent-teacher relations, teachers face a plethora of job issues that interfere with their overall satisfaction.

"The challenge of staffing high-needs schools stymies many districts, as seasoned teachers often opt for less stressful jobs in middle-class neighborhoods," according to The Tampa Bay Times.

As a result, the article said, these districts end up staffing with brand new teachers typically right out of college who are not necessarily familiar with the job issues they will be set to encounter.

A high turnover rate, unfortunately, is all too common in schools that serve high poverty areas for this reason.

In one of the schools surveyed, only 20% of teachers said they had enough time in their day "when they weren't teaching," the article said.

Further, many of the schools surveyed were in agreement that parents and guardians were not influential decision-makers in the school.

"Asked if 'parents and guardians are influential decision makers at this school,' fewer than one-fifth answered yes at Dowdell in the Clair-Mel area, and at Shaw Elementary near the University of South Florida. At Potter, the number was 6.3 percent.

Not one teacher at Van Buren Middle in Sulphur Springs agreed that parents are decision makers."

In Van Buren, only 3 percent of its teachers said students followed the rules. The percent of teachers who said students followed the rules in other renaissance schools barely or did not crack ten percent.

To address some of these concerns, the schools in question are looking for different ways to reach both students and teachers. In Van Buren, for example, the administration is looking to bring back its PTA. In another, the Potter elementary school is looking to start a character education program to reach youth and prevent behavioral issues.

Recent surveys have revealed that mentorship and strong induction programs are directly linked to teacher satisfaction; perhaps looking into these programs could be a big answer to struggling schools across Tampa counties. 

Read the full article here and comment below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

05/27/2015

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