DALLAS – Teachers today say they are more satisfied in their careers, feel more respected and are better compensated than 25 years ago, according to the 2008 “MetLife Survey of the American Teacher: Past, Present and Future.” Regarding their schools, teachers in urban areas report more problems than their counterparts in rural or suburban settings, the same survey showed.

As reported in The Dallas Morning News, the number of teachers who called themselves “very satisfied” reached an all-time high of 62 percent, compared to 40 percent in 1984, the first year the survey was conducted. The survey is administered by Harris Interactive and includes 1,000 teachers across the country, according to the report.

Seventy-five percent of teachers surveyed said they would advise a young person to begin a career in teaching, compared to 45 percent in 1984. Teachers in general also reported more parent and community support, better availability of educational materials and better school facilities, the Morning News reported.

However, teachers in urban schools gave lower marks in each of those areas, and principals in urban schools reported more often than rural or suburban principals that students come to school unprepared, the survey showed. Principals were surveyed separately.

Only 48 percent of today’s teachers favor standardized tests as a way to track student performance, according to the survey; the number in 1984 was 61 percent.

SOURCES:
The Dallas Morning News, “Sandy Kress: Survey trumps stereotypes about teachers,” April 16, 2009

Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., “MetLife Survey of the American Teacher,” 2008

FURTHER READING:
Michigan Education Report, “Teach the teachers, test the students,” Aug. 12, 2004

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