A Study of Factors that Impact Teacher Job Satisfaction in Rural Schools
AuthorBumgartner, Michael F.
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A growing body of research suggests that low job satisfaction among teachers may lead to undesired consequences for educators, students, and communities. The greatest impact appears to be a high rate of attrition among teachers, which is growing (NCTAF, 2007). Teacher effectiveness, teacher retention, and student achievement can be directly impacted and correlated to teacher satisfaction with the job or the extent of satisfaction teachers feel concerning the teaching profession. The purpose of this study was to investigate the level of teacher job satisfaction in rural schools in a western state, as well as to attempt to reveal specific factors that lead to job satisfaction in education. Data was gathered utilizing the Job Satisfaction Survey (JSS), created by Dr. Paul Spector (1985). The JSS assesses job satisfaction in nine subscales including pay, promotion, supervision, nature of work, operating conditions, coworkers, communication, fringe benefits, and contingent rewards. Each of the nine subscales can be classified as either an extrinsic or intrinsic satisfier, as noted by Herzberg et al. (1959). The two subscales of extrinsic satisfaction means and intrinsic satisfaction means served as the dependent variables in the study. The independent variables were the ten demographic characteristics provided by respondents to the JSS and included gender, age, ethnicity, marital status, highest level of education, elementary or secondary level of teaching, type of community where the teacher grew up, salary, years of experience, and the number of schools in which the teacher has been employed.Multivariate analyses of variance (MANOVAs) were conducted on the independent and dependent variables in order to answer the research questions and to understand if any significant differences existed among the variables. The two dependent variables in this study were the extrinsic and intrinsic mean scale scores from the JSS. If differences were indicated by MANOVA tests, follow up post hoc analyses were conducted to detail where the differences were found. No significant differences were found for the independent variables of gender, ethnicity, type of community where the teacher grew up, and number schools in which the teacher had been employed. Significant differences were found for the independent variables of age, highest level of education, elementary and secondary grade level taught, years of teaching experience, and salary. Rural schoolteachers in the age category of 21-30 with the level of education of obtaining a Bachelor Degree, making a salary of $30,000-$40,000, and from 0-5 years teaching experience expressed higher intrinsic and extrinsic job satisfaction than older, more educated teachers with more income and more experience in the teaching field. Teachers in all demographic categories expressed higher intrinsic satisfaction with the job than extrinsic. These findings were remarkably similar across all five school districts where the JSS was conducted.