There has been a lot of unnecessary hand-wringing surrounding the results of the MetLife Survey of the American Teacher which found that teacher job satisfaction has reached an all-time low. Let’s look at the data from a different perspective. Nearly forty percent of teachers LOVE their work. To which I say, “And why shouldn’t they?” Thanks to me and other education reformers, working conditions for teachers have been steadily improving for more than a decade.
For example, teachers have the honor and pleasure of working with more and more of our children for longer and longer periods of time as class sizes grow and school days are extended. Also, teachers are no longer forced to use materials paid for by taxpayers. Instead, we let them choose and pay for their own classroom supplies. Unlike the rest of us, educators aren’t expected to complete their work while at work. Rather, we generously allow them to take home hours and hours of grading and lesson planning. And the giving doesn’t stop there. A number of states have cut budgets and reduced social services while demanding better academic results. Thereby creating the conditions for resourcefulness and creativity that educators value and expect. And unlike other professions, teachers don’t have to worry their pretty little heads over such difficult topics as education standards because no one consults with them while drafting or imposing such standards. And let’s not forget how respected teaching is. After all, can any other profession claim to serve as a stepping-stone for law school as frequently as teaching? Of course not. Finally, teachers are in the enviable position of being evaluated based on the unbiased and completely reliable data produced by multiple-choice exams administered to children and teens.
39% of teachers are very satisfied with with their jobs? With such laudable working conditions and puddles of respect, the real question is why isn’t the number higher? Ungrateful bastards.