PHOENIX, May 4, 2015 – With school districts across the nation facing teacher shortages, current teacher satisfaction and the ability to recruit new talent to the profession are critical. In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week (May 4 – 8) and the invaluable role teachers play in students’ lives, University of Phoenix® College of Education surveyed 1,002 K-12 teachers across the country to explore how they feel about the profession, what can be done to attract high quality teachers to the field and how they want parents involved in the classroom. The survey was conducted online by Harris Poll in April.
A large majority (88 percent) of K-12 educators indicate satisfaction with their decisions to become teachers and nearly seven-in-ten (68 percent) teachers who entered the field in the last ten years would recommend the profession to others. Seventy-one percent of K-12 teachers say seeing students grow is what they enjoy most about teaching.
“Teaching is one of the most important, honorable and rewarding professions,” said Pamela Roggeman, Ed.D., academic dean for University of Phoenix College of Education and former 17-year K-12 teacher. “At a time when many schools are facing critical teacher shortages while trying to stay competitive in areas such as STEM education, all stakeholders must do their part to highlight the amazing opportunity teachers have to shape tomorrow’s leaders and recruit candidates to the field who have passion for children and learning.”
Nearly half (47 percent) of K-12 teachers were inspired to join the profession by a teacher they had when they were students. Sixty-nine percent became teachers because they enjoy working with children, 65 percent had a desire to make a difference in children’s lives and 30 percent wanted to inspire change in education.
“The fact that so many educators were inspired by their own teachers to pursue the profession is an indication of the lifelong influence teachers have on their students,” said Roggeman.
Top reasons K-12 teachers would recommend the profession to others include:
K-12 teachers are no exception when it comes to facing challenges in the workplace. Policy development by those outside the profession (78 percent) is the greatest source of frustration for teachers, followed by standardized testing (67 percent) and students’ lack of respect for authority (60 percent).
“K-12 education is one of the most visible and publicly-debated fields in the nation, so it is not surprising that the public scrutiny can at times weigh heavily on teachers, but the survey demonstrates that the benefits of shaping young lives overwhelmingly outweigh frustrations,” said Roggeman. “There are also many exciting developments in the field, including innovative ways to tear down classroom walls and bring concepts to life with technology. In fact, the survey reveals that 96 percent of teachers today use technology in their classrooms.”
Improving teacher retention is also key to addressing teacher shortages says Roggeman. In fact, nearly all (96 percent) K-12 teachers say there are things that should be done to improve teacher retention.
They cite the following as ways to improve teacher retention:
Parents are an integral part of learning and nearly all teachers (97 percent) identify ways they want parents involved in the classroom. This is not limited to younger grade levels as 95 percent of high school teachers want parents to be involved. More than half (56 percent) of K-12 teachers say fewer than 25 percent of parents are involved in their classrooms.
How teachers would like parents to get involved in their classrooms:
How to Say “Thanks” During Teacher Appreciation Week and Get Involved in the Classroom Year-round:
Tips for Individuals Interested in Exploring the Teaching Profession:
For more information about Teacher Preparation programs, continuing education for teachers, and professional development programs at University of Phoenix, visit phoenix.edu/education.
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of University of Phoenix between April 14 and 27, 2015. Respondents included 1,002 U.S. residents employed full-time as teachers in grades K-12 who have at least an undergraduate degree. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Tanya Burden at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About University of Phoenix College of Education
University of Phoenix College of Education has been educating teachers and school administrators for more than 30 years. The College of Education provides associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs for individuals who want to become teachers or current educators and administrators seeking advanced degrees to strengthen their professional knowledge. With education programs available throughout most of the U.S., the College of Education has a distinct grasp of the national education picture and priorities for teacher preparation. Faculty members on average bring more than 17 years of professional experience to the classroom. For more information, visit www.phoenix.edu/education.
About University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix is constantly innovating to help working adults move efficiently from education to careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant and engaging courses, and interactive learning can help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. As a subsidiary of Apollo Education Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: APOL), University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population, offering associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs from campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as well as online throughout the world. For more information, visit www.phoenix.edu.
 U.S. Department of Education: Office of Postsecondary Education, “Teacher Shortage Areas Nationwide Listing: 1900-1991 through 2015-2016,” https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/pol/tsa.pdf