Survey: Today’s teaching force is less experienced, more open to change

More inexperienced teachers are in today’s classrooms than ever before and they are more open than their veteran colleagues to performance-driven options for how they’re evaluated and paid, according to the results of a new survey conducted by the Boston-based nonprofit Teach Plus.

For the first time in decades, more than 50 percent of the nation’s teaching force is comprised of teachers who have been in the classroom under 10 years, Teach Plus found in “Great Expectations: Teachers’ Views on Elevating the Teaching Profession,” which looks at the changing demographics of U.S. teachers.

From “Seven Trends: The Transformation of the Teaching Force,” by Richard Ingersoll and Lisa Merrill (May 2012)

The national survey asked 1,015 new and veteran teachers their views on some of the most contentious issues in U.S. public education, like teacher evaluations and class size, to see if attitudes are shifting with an influx of newer teachers.

Despite differences in experience, teachers are generally united when it comes to working conditions. The majority of both newbies and veterans agree that class sizes should not be increased, even if doing so would provide districts with more funding to raising salaries. The two groups are also in agreement about keeping the school day shorter and said that increasing pay is key to elevating public respect for the profession.

On the topic of teacher evaluations, though—one of the most highly debated issues in education reform—the two demographics have mostly differing views. They agree that current teacher evaluations are ineffective at improving instruction, but 71 percent of less experienced teachers say their evaluation should be tied to student test score growth, compared to only 41 percent of veteran teachers.

Those who began teaching in the last decade are also more supportive of changing compensation and tenure systems, and more likely to think the use of student data is important to teach more effectively.

Celine Coggins, founder and CEO of Teach Plus, said a new generation of teachers has been exposed to the magnitude of the achievement gap, which may influence their attitudes and their belief in the importance of data.

“Closing gaps among racial groups and across income levels motivates the commitment to teaching for so many,” Coggins said.

In 1987, the majority of teachers had 15 years of experience, according to a study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania. Now, with about half of new teachers leaving urban classrooms within three years, teachers with just one year of experience are the most common in U.S. classrooms. And each year, 200,000 new teachers enter the profession, 65 percent of whom are recent college graduates.

Mark Teoh, director of research and knowledge at Teach Plus, said that these new teachers were most likely students during or after the introduction of the No Child Left Behind Act in 2002, and said their attitudes show they are more accustomed to testing and accountability than their more experienced colleagues.

At a time when states are introducing the Common Core standards and new evaluation methods, Teoh says these shifting teacher attitudes could influence education reform, as policymakers hear “what kind of profession these teachers want to see, and what kind of workforce they want to be a part of.”

The report also highlights problems that come with a younger, less experienced teaching force. Teach Plus recommends including teacher opinion in policymaking and encouraging newer teachers to take on leadership roles.

“There’s definitely room and a hunger for these teachers to be part in the policy process itself,” Teoh said. “They’re the ones who are there all the time, and they can provide the feedback, guidance and perspective that [are] needed.”


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Jerry Antone

Teaching is very demanding especially for children who are set in their ways. More and more, children are not willing to learn because they mingle with the wrong crowd after school. They feel that living in a society of torn families that the wishes for a “good life” is not there for them. To expect them to learn means nothing to them, due to many changes happening that are negative at best, that the feeling to change in a very changing world is not for them. Yes, only a few would very much like to take charge and learn something but somewhere along the way, other children would make them a mockery of shame. The teachers are expected to help these children who are under duress are put in a position to work extensively. The salaries are very low and not appreciated for the extra work they are forced to do. A lot of paperwork also come into play especially for children who are label as SPED. There is also a tremendous task teachers have to do to keep up with documents pertaining to posters, testing, 9 weeks exam, and many more. It is very time consuming to keep up with the demands of documents which makes it difficult to teach, monitor, prepare testing, and other demanding schedules. Principals, administrators, teachers, counselors, and other key players do not interact from day to day basis. The only time teachers are able to meet principals and administrators are beginning of the school year and other major situations develop needing there attentions. Other than that, teachers have to play it by ear until evaluations come up or Parent/Teachers meeting, etc. Therefore the job is cumbersome and very demanding.

JOHNNY BOGGS

I AM MUCH OLDER,78, BUT WHEN I WAS A STUDENT, TEACHERS WERE NOT UNION. THE UNION HAS MADE THEM LESS INDEPENDENT. THEY SERVE THE UNION BOSS’ES WHICH RESULTS IN THEM BEING TOLD HOW TO THINK, ACT. THE TEACHERS ARE PROFESSIONAL PEOPLE NO MORONS. THEY ARE EDUCATED AND KNOW HOW TO THINK ON THEIR OWN. I KNOW THAT THEY NEED GUIDEANCE FROM THEIR SUPERVISORS, BUT THEY ARE EDUCATED, NOT A PERSON THAT NEEDS TO BE TOLD WHEN OR HOW TO TAKE A CRAP. EDUCATION WOULD BE MUCH BETTER IF THEY WERE NOT UNION. EVERBODY LOVES A GOOD TEACHER, SOMEBODY TO SET EXAMPLES FOR YOUR LIFE, BUT THEY DO NOT MUCH RESPECT FOR A FOLLER.

Judy

I taught for many years. Not all teachers are the same. Some are in the classroom to work with the higher students and believe that the underachievers will never “get it”. I have heard teacher remarks, “I guess they won’t get it. Oh, well, can’t reach everyone.”
What are colleges doing to prepare teachers? No one seems to hold them accountable, but they sure do charge huge fees for an education. So what are they doing to help improve education? After all isn’t that why students go to college to practice what they learn?

Judy

Teacher pay is not all that bad when you think how many days are spent in the classroom in front of the students per year. An average of 180 days are days students spend in school in most states here in the USA. A calendar year has 365 days, minus 104 for weekends, minus 9 holidays = 252 days. Out of these 252 days take away the average 180 school days of teaching days per year, and teachers don’t work for at least 72 days. What other profession gets an automatic 10 weeks of vacation time per year? The average teaching salary is around $40,000 plus benefits. Depending on experience salaries usually increase every year. When I was teaching my sister had to take a PAY CUT in her Government Job while I received a TEACHER SALARY RAISE during the same time. She got 4 weeks of vacation time a year. So don’t tell me teachers are not paid well. We all knew that teacher salaries weren’t top paying jobs when we went into the profession.
There are students that are hard to handle and don’t to pay attention and make it bad for other kids who are there to learn. But this is a big purposely created government problem in the way that they don’t find ways to help provide places for these students who don’t fit in the norm. This is BIG GOVERNMENT at its worst. Everyone is supposed to be the SAME all inclusive! The government has set up one program top fit all. Sorry it doesn’t work that way. Oh, yeah, it sounds oh so good. But it doesn’t work like that. Get the misfits out of the regular classrooms where student who are there and are ready to learn can be taught. Until BIG GOVERNMENT gets itself out of education with ALL INCLUSIVENESS we will have the same ol’ corruption and belief that this is the only way.
Teachers would be smart to hold the UNION THUGS ACCOUNTABLE. They steal so much of the teacher’s pay just for salaries that line their pockets. Tell the union to help you find places for students who don’t fit the norm and are ruining the education and learning for the ones who are ready to learn. TEACHERS NEED TO MAKE A CONTRACT WITH THE UNIONS to help with education instead of just taking money from the teachers and supporting the Democratic Party. Schools are for ALL PARTIES. Perhaps that’s another reason why schools are failures these days!

October 26 « tigersteach

[...] the Teaching Profession.”  This article includes a link to the full report (16 pages):  http://hechingered.org/content/survey-todays-teaching-force-is-less-experienced-more-open-to-change_…    The Corona-Norco Unfied School District was the runner-up for the 2012 Broad Prize for Urban [...]

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