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An Examination of Job Satisfaction among Urban High School Teachers
AuthorCui-Callahan, Natalia A.
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The workload of public educators has become increasingly complex in recent years. New and veteran teachers are facing a variety of internal and external challenges within the classroom environment. Internal challenges include, but are not limited to students with limited English skills, inclusion of students with special needs in the regular classroom, and increasing class sizes. The external challenges are that school leaders and teachers are facing new scrutiny for accountability regarding student academic achievement and federal mandates. The consequences of both challenges result in teacher turnover; replacement and training are extremely costly, in addition to negatively impacting school climate. The purpose of this study was to explore the job satisfaction of teachers who work in seven urban high schools (A-G). The research is a quantitative study using ten separate multiple analyses of variance (MANOVA) tests. This was done through the use of the Job Satisfaction Survey (JSS) with 9 subscales, in conjunction with an individual Demographic Questionnaire on gender, age group, ethnicity, marital status, highest level of education, national board certification, subject taught, salary, years of experience, and the number of schools at which the individual worked. From the nine subscales of perceived job satisfaction, four measure intrinsic job satisfaction (contingent rewards, coworkers, nature of work, and communication) and the remaining five measure extrinsic job satisfaction (pay, promotion, supervision, fringe benefits, and operating conditions). This study sought to identify the difference among groups established by ten demographic variables as measured by the intrinsic and extrinsic means from the 36 questions of the JSS. The data analyses for this study revealed the following. The findings from the Demographic Questionnaire indicate that the typical high school teacher was white, female, married, over the age of 51, in possession of a master's degree but not, reported of having a salary of $40,001-$50,000. In high school, she taught academic core classes for a period of 6-15 years at 2-3 different schools. From the 449 teachers, respondents scored higher in the intrinsic job satisfaction than extrinsic job satisfaction consistently in all 7 high schools. In addition, on average, teachers scored the lowest subscales in pay and highest in supervision. High school A expressed the highest level of overall job satisfaction high school G expressed the lowest. Quantitative analyses were conducted to address the proposed research questions and identify any patterns or relationships between the dependent and independent variables. The results indicate no significance was found for the null hypothesis with independent variables involving gender, ethnicity, marital status, national board certification, subject taught, and the number of schools taught. Key findings suggest that differences exist with independent variables involving age group, level of education, salary, and years of experience. In all four cases, high school teachers in the younger age category of 21-30, with the lowest level of education obtaining only a bachelor's degree, making a salary of $30,000-$40,000, and have been teaching the shortest amount of time from 0-5 years had higher intrinsic and extrinsic job satisfaction than their older, more educated, teachers with more income, and more experienced counterparts. The data also supports the belief that regardless of demographic factors, teachers resulted in higher intrinsic job satisfaction than extrinsic job satisfaction. Another intriguing finding of this study was that teachers who were working in high poverty, minority populated, and high risk schools did not necessarily display lower job satisfaction than teachers working in more affluent and socio-economically advantaged schools.