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1 Teacher Satisfaction and Retention: Data From the Lutheran Teacher Survey Northern Illinois District Administrators January 15, 2002 Commission on Ministerial.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Teacher Satisfaction and Retention: Data From the Lutheran Teacher Survey Northern Illinois District Administrators January 15, 2002 Commission on Ministerial."— Presentation transcript:

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2 1 Teacher Satisfaction and Retention: Data From the Lutheran Teacher Survey Northern Illinois District Administrators January 15, 2002 Commission on Ministerial Growth and Support (314) Lutheran Education Association (708)

3 2 Research Objectives Purpose ãMaintain faithful, joyful and competent teachers and administrators in Lutheran schools Phase I - Qualitative ãGain an understanding and insights regarding teachers’ roles, attitudes, satisfaction and educational needs Phase I I - Quantitative ãMeasure teachers’ attitudes, satisfaction and educational needs ãIncrease ability to predict satisfaction and likelihood to leave

4 3 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

5 4 Information Gap Non-Commissioned Teachers Teachers who have left Aspiring Teachers We lack data for... Commissioned Teachers Findings apply mostly to...

6 5 Analysis Revolves Around... The First Two Key Questions How likely are you to leave your teaching ministry in the Lutheran school system during the next three years? Overall, how satisfied are you with your current teaching situation?

7 6 Overall Satisfaction Somewhat Satisfied % Very Satisfied % Not Satisfied 55 12% Total Number of Teachers (420 Responded)

8 7 Likelihood to Leave Not Very Likely % Not at all Likely % Total Number of Teachers (455 Responded) Very Likely 62 13% 31% Somewhat Likely 81 18%

9 8 Reasons Teachers Gave for Leaving

10 9 Analysis Revolves Around... The First Two Key Questions How likely are you to leave your teaching ministry in the Lutheran school system during the next three years? Overall, how satisfied are you with your current teaching situation? How can we influence?

11 10 Using Factor Analysis to Reduce a Large Number of Variables to a Manageable Number v v v v v v vv v v v v 121 Variables F F F FFF F F F F 10 Factors

12 11 Factors Impinging on Teachers Opportunities for Continuing Education Pressure / Conflict Relationship with Administration Relationship with Peers / Work Environment Relationship between School & Congregation Pastoral Support Relationship with Parents Balance or Lack of Distress Effectiveness as a Teacher Compensation

13 12 Impact Modeling What allows us to better predict….? Teacher Satisfaction 10 Factors 18 Demographics 7 Factors and 1 Demographic Variable Emerge

14 13 In Order of Effect on Satisfaction Opportunities for Continuing Education Relationship with Administration Relationship between School & Congregation Effectiveness as a Teacher Compensation Tenure at Current School Balance or Lack of Distress Relationship with Peers / Work Environment

15 14 Impact Modeling What allows us to better predict….? Likelihood to Leave 10 Factors 18 Demographics 4 Factors and 4 Demographic Variables Emerge

16 15 In Order of Effect on Likelihood to Leave Relationship with Administration Relationship with Peers / Work Environment Relationship between School & Congregation Compensation Taught Grade Presence of Children Yes (+) Taught K-5 (+) Gender (Female) At Risk!

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18 17 Compensation What helps us better understand this factor? #1 Teacher Retention #3 Teacher Satisfaction

19 18 Salary Provides Adequate Support for Needs Almost 45% of our teachers disagree! (Higher among non- rostered!)

20 19 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

21 20 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

22 21 Teacher-Principal/Administrator Relationships So, investigating this further… What are the central characteristics that make up principal/administrator relationships? #1 Teacher Satisfaction #2 Teacher Retention

23 22 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

24 23 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

25 24 Relationship to Peers/Work Environment What helps us better understand this factor? #2 Teacher Satisfaction #4 Teacher Likelihood to Leave

26 25 Satisfaction with Relationship with Other Teachers Basically, our teachers are satisfied with their peer relationships

27 26 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

28 27 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

29 28 Relationship Between School and Congregation What helps us better understand this factor? #5 Teacher Satisfaction #5 Teacher Likelihood to Leave

30 29 Positive School-Congregation Relationship 6 out of 10 teachers report a positive school- congregation relationship

31 30 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

32 31 Another Question of Interest Almost 7 of 10 teachers report a positive pastor-principal relationship Principal has a good relationship with the pastor

33 32 What helps the principal-pastor relationship? >.05 - Agree that congregation leaders share their appreciation for the teachers >.01 - Agree that pastor is supportive of teachers - School-congregation relationship is collegial (opposite: antagonistic)

34 33 Is the Pastor Supportive of the Teachers? 2/3 of the teachers say “YES”

35 34 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

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37 36 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.

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39 38 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.

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41 40 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

42 41 Major Sources of Feeling Overwhelmed I find it difficult to balance my work and personal life (1.4) (I agree that) teachers feel pressured to deliver a high quality education (1.3) (I agree that) teaching at a Lutheran school requires an unreasonable financial sacrifice (1.1)

43 42 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

44 43 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

45 44 Another Key Question Are teachers’ spiritual needs being met?

46 45 Spiritual Needs Met 70% “strongly” or “somewhat” agree

47 46 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

48 47 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 teaching methods and computer applications 20% want to improve classroom management skills … three skill tracks offer something of interest to virtually every teacher!

49 48 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

50 49 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

51 50 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.

52 51 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.

53 52 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

54 53 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

55 54 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

56 55 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

57 56 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

58 57 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

59 58 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

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61 60 Jonathan C. Laabs, EdD Lutheran Education Association 7400 Augusta St. River Forest, IL


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