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					Teacher Satisfaction and
Retention: Data From the
Lutheran Teacher Survey

Northern Illinois District Administrators
               January 15, 2002


 Commission on Ministerial Growth and Support
               (314) 996-1378
       Lutheran Education Association
               (708) 209-3343


                                                1
                   Research Objectives



Purpose
 Maintain faithful, joyful and competent teachers and
  administrators in Lutheran schools


Phase I - Qualitative
 Gain an understanding and insights regarding teachers’ roles,
  attitudes, satisfaction and educational needs


Phase I I - Quantitative
 Measure teachers’ attitudes, satisfaction and educational needs
 Increase ability to predict satisfaction and likelihood to leave




                                                                     2
                Methodology & Sample


•   Quantitative Measurement using Mail Survey
    – Rated satisfaction or agreement with over 120 variables
       • teaching environment, compensation issues, personal
         development, balance between career and personal life,
         relationships
    – Ranked skills and resources needs
    – Explored emotional well-being
    – Gathered a wide range of behavioral data
•   Sample
    – Conducted in June 2000
    – Survey mailed to 1,232 randomly selected current teachers of
      pre-school and K - 12
    – 464 returned (27%)
       • 60% of commissioned teachers responded
       • only 14% of non-commissioned teachers responded

                                                                     3
              Information Gap



    Findings                     Commissioned
apply mostly to...                 Teachers




                            Non-Commissioned
                                Teachers
  We lack data
      for...                    Teachers who have
                                       left

                                Aspiring Teachers


                                                    4
 Analysis Revolves Around...


        The First Two Key
           Questions

Overall, how satisfied
 are you with your
  current teaching
     situation?



             How likely are you to
              leave your teaching
            ministry in the Lutheran
             school system during
             the next three years?

                                       5
            Overall Satisfaction


             Total Number of Teachers
                 (420 Responded)




  Very
                    Somewhat            Not Satisfied
Satisfied
                     Satisfied               55
  150
                       215                  12%
  32%
                       46%

                                                        6
                     Likelihood to Leave



                    Total Number of Teachers
                        (455 Responded)



                                                    Very Likely
                                                        62
Not at all Likely                                      13%
      145                                Somewhat
      31%                                  Likely
                    Not Very Likely         81
                         167               18%
                         36%




                                                                  7
           Reasons Teachers Gave for Leaving


100%


80%


60%
         49%

40%                  36%

                                     22%
20%
                                                      8%


 0%
       PERSONAL    FINANCIAL   WORK ENVIRONMENT   RELATIONSHIPS


                                                                  8
         Analysis Revolves Around...


                The First Two Key
                   Questions



Overall, how satisfied         How likely are you to
 are you with your              leave your teaching
  current teaching            ministry in the Lutheran
     situation?                school system during
                               the next three years?




                How can we influence?


                                                         9
Using Factor Analysis to Reduce a Large Number of Variables to
                    a Manageable Number

               v
       v
 vv            v v                                   v       v
                                                 v               v

                                                         v
                                                         v

                         121 Variables




   F                                                     F
           F                                         F
                 F                           F
                     F     F    F        F
                                                                 10
                Factors Impinging on Teachers

                          Relationship
                              with             Relationship
                         Administration        with Peers /
                                                  Work
       Pressure /                              Environment
        Conflict
                                                               Relationship
                                                              between School
                                                              & Congregation

Opportunities
    for
 Continuing
 Education                                                         Pastoral
                                                                   Support




   Compensation
                                                          Relationship
                                                          with Parents
                    Effectiveness         Balance or
                    as a Teacher           Lack of
                                           Distress
                                                                               11
            Impact Modeling

What allows us to better predict….?




                      Teacher
                    Satisfaction

  10                                      18
Factors                               Demographics




   7 Factors and 1 Demographic Variable Emerge
                                                     12
                In Order of Effect on Satisfaction

                            Relationship
                                with        Relationship
                           Administration   with Peers /
                                               Work
            Tenure at                       Environment
          Current School



                                                            Relationship
Opportunities
                                                           between School
    for
                                                           & Congregation
 Continuing
 Education




    Compensation




                                                                            13
            Impact Modeling

What allows us to better predict….?




                     Likelihood
                      to Leave

  10                                      18
Factors                               Demographics




  4 Factors and 4 Demographic Variables Emerge
                                                     14
           In Order of Effect on Likelihood to Leave

                      Relationship
                          with        Relationship
                     Administration   with Peers /
                                         Work
    Presence of                       Environment
     Children                                           Relationship
      Yes (+)                                          between School
                                                       & Congregation



 Gender
(Female)




                                                       Taught
 Compensation                                        Grade 6 - 12



                      Taught
                      K-5 (+)
                                                                        15
                Compensation


#1     Teacher Retention
#3     Teacher Satisfaction


     What helps us better understand this factor?




                                                    17
         Salary Provides Adequate Support
                     for Needs


                           35%
                           30%
• Almost 45% of our
                           25%
  teachers disagree!
                           20%
• (Higher among non-       15%
  rostered!)               10%
                            5%
                            0%
                                     e      e     e     e e
                                   re gre       ur gre gre
                                 Ag t A ot S isa isa
                               y
                           ngl      ha     N    t D ly D
                                  w           ha
                       Stro me               w ron
                                                    g
                            So             e
                                          m St
                                       So

                                                              18
Characteristics of a salary adequate for the teacher
      and the teacher’s family needs (<.01)



• Agree that my compensation is in line with my responsibilities
      and workload

• Agree that I am willing to compromise on salary to teach in a
      Christian environment

• Agree that I am satisfied with opportunities to develop or update
      my skills

• Have children at home




                                                                      19
Characteristics of a salary adequate for the teacher
      and the teacher’s family needs (<.05)



• Agree that the school has a good reputation for providing quality
      education

• Agree that I think the school board attempts to meet district
      salary guidelines

• Agree that my needs as a teacher are being met very well

• Are satisfied with competency in counseling situations




                                                                      20
        Teacher-Principal/Administrator
                Relationships



 #1       Teacher Satisfaction
 #2       Teacher Retention


            So, investigating this further…

What are the central characteristics that make up
      principal/administrator relationships?


                                                    21
  Characteristics of a Positive Relationship
   with the Principal/Administrator (<.01)


• (My Principal) treats teachers with respect
• (My Principal) is sensitive to the needs and abilities
      of the teacher
• Climate (at my school) is positive
• Teachers (at my school) have someone to go to for
      discussing sensitive issues such as
      compensation, feelings of isolation
• (My Principal) recognizes teachers for their effort
• (My Principal) is approachable




                                                           22
 Characteristics of a Positive Relationship
  with the Principal/Administrator (<.05)




• (At my school) teachers are given a clear
  understanding of their responsibilities/priorities
• (My principal) demonstrates sensitivity/flexibility
  around work family issues




                                                        23
Relationship to Peers/Work Environment




         #2 Teacher Satisfaction
    #4 Teacher Likelihood to Leave




What helps us better understand this factor?


                                               24
      Satisfaction with Relationship with Other
                     Teachers
                       60%


                       50%


                       40%

   Basically, our
                       30%
    teachers are
satisfied with their
                       20%
peer relationships
                       10%


                        0%
                                     d     d      e   d
                                  fie isfie Sur isfie
                              tis      t      t     t
                            sa t sa        No iss a
                         ry      a             td
                       Ve ewh               ha
                           m              w
                        So              me
                                     So                   25
      Characteristics of a Satisfactory
   Relationship with Other Teachers(<.01)



• Agree that I am encouraged and befriended by other
      teachers/staff

• Agree that at my school there is a sense of
      camaraderie and teamwork.

• Agree that at my school teachers exude the joy of
      teaching




                                                       26
      Characteristics of a Satisfactory
   Relationship with Other Teachers(<.05)




• Agree that at my school teachers have a voice in the
      decisions that affect them.
• Agree that at my school people trust one another.




NOTE: NO DEMOGRAPHIC VARIABLES


                                                         27
Relationship Between School and Congregation




             #5 Teacher Satisfaction

         #5 Teacher Likelihood to Leave




   What helps us better understand this factor?


                                                  28
             Positive School-Congregation
                     Relationship


                   40%
   6 out of 10     35%
teachers report    30%
   a positive      25%
     school-       20%
                   15%
 congregation      10%
  relationship      5%
                    0%
                                       e
                         ree gree Sur gree gree
                       Ag t A      t     a    a
                     ly ha
                    g w          No t Dis Dis
                 on
               tr ome              ha ngly
              S S
                               m ew tro
                            So       S



                                                  29
   Characteristics of a Positive Relationship
Between the School and the Congregation(<.01)



 •   School-congregation relationship: enthused (opposite:
         indifferent)
 •   Agree that congregation leaders treat the teachers as
         professionals
 •   Agree that a good number of congregation members’ children
         attend our school
 •   Disagree that there is a tension between the
         congregation/school: “church” v. “school”
 •   Agree that pastor demonstrates his concern for spiritual welfare
         of faculty members
 •   School-congregation relationship: close (opposite: distant)


 Note: NO DEMOGRAPHIC VARIABLES

                                                                        30
            Another Question of Interest

    Principal has a good relationship with the pastor

                                45%
                                40%
                                35%
• Almost 7 of 10                30%
                                25%
  teachers report               20%
  a positive                    15%
  pastor-principal              10%
                                 5%
  relationship                   0%




                                           Di ure
                                                    ee
                                                     e
                                           No ree




                                                    ee
                                                  re




                                                 gr
                                                 gr
                                               tS
                                               Ag
                                               Ag




                                              sa
                                              sa
                                           at
                                 So ngly




                                           Di
                                        wh


                                        at
                                        ly
                                      ro




                                     ng
                                    wh
                                    me
                                   St




                                  ro
                                 me
                               St

                                                         31
                              So
       What helps the principal-pastor
               relationship?


                                          >.01
 - Agree that pastor is supportive of teachers

- School-congregation relationship is collegial
      (opposite: antagonistic)


                                           >.05
 - Agree that congregation leaders share their
       appreciation for the teachers

                                                  32
 Is the Pastor Supportive of the Teachers?



                           40%
                           35%

                           30%
                           25%
                           20%
2/3 of the teachers say
         “YES”             15%
                           10%

                               5%

                               0%




                                                         e




                                                                                           d
                                                                             ee
                                    ee


                                              ee




                                                               ee
                                                        ur




                                                                                      ne
                                                                          gr
                                    gr


                                            gr




                                                              gr
                                                    tS




                                                                                     tio
                                                                         sa
                               yA


                                         tA




                                                             isa
                                                   No




                                                                                  en
                                                                        Di
                                       ha




                                                         tD
                               gl




                                                                              tm
                                                                    ly
                             n

                                     ew




                                                      ha
                          ro




                                                                   ng

                                                                             No
                                    m




                                                    ew
                          St




                                                               ro
                                 So




                                                    m


                                                             St
                                                   So




                                                                                               33
  Pastor is supportive of teachers >.01



• Agree: the pastor shows that he
         appreciates the teachers

• Agree: the pastor promotes the school to
         the congregation

 • Agree: the pastor has reasonable expectations

 • Agree: the pastor demonstrates his concern for
        the spiritual welfare of faculty members

                                                    34
             Another Key Question

Among the various difficult feelings teachers could be
  experiencing, which are most prominent and what is their
  makeup?

We measured being bothered by:

           isolation, self-doubt, depression,
           discontentment, anxiety, being
           overwhelmed, anger, disillusionment,
           frustration, inability to relate to others.




                                                             36
40%                              Isolation
35%
                                 Self-Doubt
30%
25%                              Depression
20%
                                 Discontentment
15%
10%                              Anxiety
 5%
                                 Anger
 0%
                                 Disillusionment
                l




                             d
                      t
             ea

                    ha

                          ne
          D

                 ew


                         bi
        at




                                 Inability to
                       om
                m
      re

              So


                      C
      G




                                 relate to others
                                                    37
   But when we measure frustration and being
               overwhelmed…



                     Great Deal   Somewhat Combined

Frustration             11.4%         44.4%      56%

Being Overwhelmed        18%          41%        59%




We wanted to look further into these feelings.




                                                       38
60%                         Isolation

50%                         Self-Doubt

                            Depression
40%
                            Discontentment
30%
                            Anxiety

20%                         Anger

                            Disillusionment
10%
                            Inability to
0%                          relate to others
                            Frustration
                        d
                        t
                        l

                     ha
                     ea




                     ne



                            Feeling
                 ew
          tD




                  bi
              om




                            Overwhelmed
                m
         a
      re

             So


             C
      G




                                               39
Major Sources of Feeling NOT Overwhelmed




I have been able to strike a balance between my professional and
   family life

My principal/administrator understands the challenges teachers
  face in the classroom

I feel comfortable asking questions about my workload or
    compensation-related issues

(I am satisfied with) my effectiveness as a teacher




                                                                   40
       Major Sources of Feeling Overwhelmed



I find it difficult to balance my work
                                              (I agree that) teachers feel pressured to
        and personal life (1.4)
                                                deliver a high quality education (1.3)




                     (I agree that) teaching at a Lutheran school
                               requires an unreasonable
                                financial sacrifice (1.1)




                                                                                          41
Major Sources of Feeling Frustrated




Students are more disruptive
   and harder to control than in the past

School - Congregation relationship is
  indifferent

Students come with needs that teachers
   are not prepared to deal with




                                            42
Major Sources of Feeling NOT Frustrated




    Overall satisfaction with my present situation

    My needs as a teacher are being met very well

    Overall satisfaction with my relationship with
      the parents of students

    (In the work environment) the needs of the
       teachers are met very well




                                                     43
       Another Key Question



Are teachers’ spiritual needs being met?




                                           44
            Spiritual Needs Met


                  40%
                  35%

                  30%
                  25%
70% “strongly”    20%
or “somewhat”     15%
agree             10%
                   5%
                   0%
                                 ee           e        e                 ee
                                           re       ur         ee
                               gr
                               A        Ag     t  S        a gr        gr
                            ly       at      No         is          yA
                         n g        h               t D
                                                               n gl
                     tro         ew              ha        tro
                   S           m              ew         S
                           So               m
                                          So


                                                                              45
What contributes to the spiritual needs of
     the teacher being met? (<.01)


 Satisfied with the work environment at my school

 Agree that the pastor demonstrates his
      concern for the spiritual welfare of faculty
      members
 Agree that the environment (at the school) is
      intellectually stimulating
 Agree that teachers have adequate opportunity for
      group devotion or Bible study

 Congregation leaders have reasonable
     expectations of the teachers
                                                      46
                        Clustering Teachers by
                         Skill Training Needs



                                  Of 13 skills offered to teachers, there was
                                  no one skill that everyone felt would
                                  increase their effectiveness. But...

                                                    43% want to
                                                  improve skills in
                                                  counseling with
                                                    children and
                                                      families


                          37% want to learn new
  20% want to improve     teaching methods and
classroom management      computer applications
        skills
                                                     … three skill tracks
                                                     offer something of
                                                     interest to virtually
                                                        every teacher!

                                                                                47
                        Conclusions


• Based on this survey of primarily Commissioned teachers, a
  small number (12%) report being dissatisfied with the current
  teaching situation. The majority are only ‘somewhat satisfied’
  with many of the aspects measured by the survey

• We must take care to not project our findings beyond
  Commissioned teachers. It is reasonable to assume that non-
  commissioned teachers would be less positive, less satisfied
  and perhaps more likely to leave

• ‘Overall satisfaction with current teaching situation’ is not a
  strong predictor of whether or not a teacher is likely to leave.
  However, the research indicates that about one in ten
  Commissioned teachers will leave annually over the next
  several years
                                                                     48
                       Conclusions


• Satisfaction and Likelihood to Leave are not simple “effects’
  attributed to single causal factors; however, we have
  identified factors and demographic variables that affect the
  odds that a teacher is dissatisfied or satisfied and whether or
  not they will be more or less likely to leave their teaching
  ministry

• Relationships, especially the relationship between teacher
  and principal and relationships with peers, have more effect
  on teachers’ satisfaction than compensation

• Teacher-principal/administrator relationships have specific
  characteristics that can be influenced



                                                                 49
                      Conclusions


• Half of the teachers who plan to leave are doing so for
  personal reasons usually associated with life stage or
  lifestyle change. On the surface, one might assume their
  decisions cannot be influenced or reversed. However,
  measures might be considered to retain these teachers:
  bonuses tied to tenure, reduced work schedules, etc. If
  teachers enjoy teaching and have good relationships, they
  might ‘defer’ leaving their teaching ministry.




                                                              50
                      Conclusions


• Compensation is not only a source of dissatisfaction, but a
  primary reason for teachers leaving the ministry. We do not
  know the gap between expected and actual compensation.
  We know from Phase I that teachers enter knowing their
  financial compensation. We determined that they perceive
  that compensation will be below par compared to public
  schools and expect this to be offset by the teaching
  environment.



• Feelings of being overwhelmed and frustrated have specific
  characteristics and can be influenced.




                                                                51
                 What Works?
       Teacher/Administrator Relationships


•   Announcement sheet/school communications
•   Eating together
•   Team teaching
•   20 minute meetings four days a week (devo, prayer, brief
    business)
•   Trusting relationship regarding sick days or personal time
•   Shared dedication to high standards
•   Commitment to strong church/school relationships
•   Progressing salaries
•   Involvement in extracurricular activities
•   Prayer partners
•   Work on each other’s strengths and weaknesses

                                                                 52
                 What Works?
       Teacher/Administrator Relationships


•   Friendship and respect for each other
•   Trust in good leadership
•   Lots of good laughs
•   Participation in fund raisers
•   Good use of facilities; decisions about priorities
•   Administrator watches children during lunch and “quiet
    time”
•   Group unity common goal
•   Open environment – visiting or just walking in on
    classrooms
•   Food – eating lunch together
•   Support for classroom activities/management

                                                             53
                 What Works?
    Peer Relationships in Work Environment


•   Friday night dinners once a month
•   Lunch together
•   Morning talks/after school chats
•   Planning activities together
•   Secret pals
•   School t-shirts for Friday dress-down days
•   Matthew 18
•   Opportunities to communicate in beginning of year
•   Morning devotions
•   Food at faculty meetings
•   School theme
•   Prayer partners
•   Faculty lounge

                                                        54
                  What Works?
     Peer Relationships in Work Environment

•   Freedom to discuss day after school
•   Regular meeting times
•   Friday morning breakfast
•   Social time (lunch, golfing, basketball, etc.)
•   Emphasizing strengths in one another
•   Sensitivity to others
•   Sharing stories
•   Poking heads in the door and saying “hi” in the morning
•   Group bible study
•   No doors on rooms
•   Conferences
•   Teach teaching
•   Defining roles and respect
•   Prep time

                                                              55
                  What Works?
        School/Congregation Relationships


•   Strong pastoral support for both
•   Financial support
•   School prays for people in congregation
•   Classroom helpers
•   Lunch helpers and library helpers
•   Pastor refers to “church and school”
•   Director of family ministry also teacher in school
•   Pen pal/prayer partners between church and school
•   Church youth group invites school
•   Bibs with “class of ____” given at baptism
•   Joint Thanksgiving Eve service
•   Congregation welcome to attend school programs


                                                         56
                What Works?
      School/Congregation Relationships


• Number of church attendees larger because of school
• Realization that school is mission and outreach
• Cooperation with facility and Sunday School/VBS
• Pastor prays for school at all services
• Extensive use of facilities
• Interaction between church and school boards
• School “fridge magnets” given to all congregation
  members
• Web site for church and school
• Congregation members come to chapel
• Market Day


                                                        57
                What Works?
      School/Congregation Relationships


• Newsletter to all members
• Joint Sunday School and school Christmas service
• Family fun nights
• Prayer partners between children and congregation
  members
• AAL members give book to school at Christmas
• Utilize members’ gifts/talents within school
• Relationship between pastor and principal




                                                      58
Jonathan C. Laabs, EdD
Lutheran Education Association
       7400 Augusta St.
    River Forest, IL 60305

         708-209-3343
       laabsjc@curf.edu

                                 60

				
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