The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools recently unveiled a new report based on a nationwide survey by The Harris Poll titled Listen to Your Teacher: An Analysis of Teacher Sentiment on the State of Public Education. The survey, encompassing over 1,200 public school teachers from district and charter schools, explores teacher experiences and challenges. It also examined teachers’ motivations for entering, staying in, or leaving the classroom. Findings throughout showed charter teachers having higher rates of overall satisfaction and gratification in the field.
Nina Rees, CEO and President of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, underlines teachers’ significance, stating, “Next to parents, teachers are the backbone of education. It is valuable to … find out how we can better support their heroic work in and outside the classroom. Although we certainly have a special interest in charter school teachers, we care deeply about the experience of all public school teachers”.
Teacher pay is of high concern, but remarkably, the report reveals that 74% of public school teachers perceive behavior and discipline issues as their primary challenge. Data in the report further explains that teachers spend almost 20% of their time addressing behavioral issues in their classrooms. Over a 180-day school year, this translates to a loss of 36 days of potential learning due to disruptive student behavior.
These findings ring true in Idaho as well, with paraprofessionals at Bluum’s Inaugural Paraprofessional Training Summit flocking to a session emphasizing behavior management techniques.
Encouragingly though, the report highlights that 80% of charter teachers are equally or more motivated than when they entered the profession. There’s something transformative about teaching in charter schools – a unique blend of motivation and empowerment. Compared to district teachers, charter educators exhibit higher rates of pride, hope, value, and appreciation in their careers. Despite shared challenges, charter teachers hold a more positive view within the educational realm. What could traditional public schools learn from public charter schools to offer teachers motivation and satisfaction?