The Job Satisfaction of Elementary Teachers and the Effects of Selected Professional Practices
AuthorQueyrel-Bryan, Jennifer L.
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Teacher job satisfaction continues to decline due to increased stress in the work place, reduced budgets, political mandates, and declining moral (Gray & Taie, 2015; Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, 2012). Every time a teacher leaves the education profession there are economic consequences because new teachers must be vetted, hired, and trained. Knowledge of job satisfaction factors helps teachers, school administrators, and school districts improve job satisfaction, retain teachers, improve student achievement, and save public education money because dedicated teachers remain in the profession.This quantitative study examined the job satisfaction of elementary school teachers in a large public school district located in a western state employing the theoretical framework of Herzberg’s (Herzberg et al., 1959, 1997) Two-Factor Motivator-Hygiene Theory and Bandura’s (1977b) Self-Efficacy Theory. The combination was employed because people’s needs are fulfilled through a variety of facets from their world of work (Herzberg et al., 1959, 1997; Bandura, 1986).The study used an established instrument, the Job Satisfaction Survey, in combination with a demographic and professional practices questionnaire to understand current teacher job satisfaction and to see if demographic or selected professional practices had any impact on teacher job satisfaction. The Job Satisfaction Survey consisted of nine job satisfaction sub-scales that were further divided into two dependent variables of intrinsic and extrinsic satisfiers. The eight demographic questions along with the four professional practice questions served as the independent variables. The surveys were administered through an on-line survey application.Highlights of the results from the Job Satisfaction Survey indicated teachers were moderately satisfied with their co-workers, nature of work, and supervision and that they were dissatisfied with their pay and operating conditions. Overall participants were slightly more satisfied than dissatisfied and teachers were also more satisfied with their intrinsic job satisfaction than their extrinsic job satisfaction factors.MANOVA calculations determined significant differences existed intrinsically and extrinsically for salary, total years of teaching experience, level of belief in professional development, feelings of classroom autonomy, and the level of belief in one’s ability to improve the achievement of students. It was interesting to note that the professional practice of mentoring did not play a significant role in the job satisfaction of teachers. The professional practices of professional development, autonomy, and the belief in the ability to improve student achievement play an important role in teacher job satisfaction.