Studies show that a teaching career is one of the most satisfying occupations.
In a study conducted by the National Science Foundation titled “Teacher Salaries, Working Conditions, and Job Satisfaction,” 90% of middle and high school teachers in public schools said they were satisfied with their jobs. This level of satisfaction does not have a correlation to salary and benefits – teachers say they get personal fulfillment from teaching itself.
This high level of satisfaction was evidenced when teachers were asked how long they planned to teach. More than 76% said they would teach until they could retire or were not longer physically able. Only 3% had immediate plans to leave their careers in education. One of the most positive statistics showed that when asked if they could start over, would they become teachers again, more than two-thirds said they would. Only 5% said they would not go into teaching again if given the choice.
A positive school environment and a supportive school administration were cited as two of the top reasons teachers enjoy their jobs. Parental support also contributed to their satisfaction level. Teachers also said they liked the autonomy associated with teaching. Elementary school teachers were found to be the most satisfied of all those in the field of education. Student behavior did have an impact on job satisfaction, but not as much as expected.
In her blog, Edutopia, teacher Elena Aguilar says that she is motivated to teach because it is the best way she can change the world. She likes helping student become empowered, literate, engaged, creative, and liberated. She admits that teaching is hard, exhausting and sometimes overwhelming and she often needs to remind herself why she continues to teach.
It seems from the studies that have been conducted and the opinions of many teachers, that teaching is not for the faint of heart. But despite the challenges, most teachers are dedicated to their profession.