Teachers leave an indelible imprint on their students’ lives, and, as the ones in the classroom on a daily basis, they’re on the frontlines of education-feeling shifts as they happen. It’s our goal and our privilege to bring their voices to the forefront of the conversation surrounding education.
Primary Sources: America’s Teachers on Teaching in an Era of Change aims to do just that. Released today, this report is the third in a series from Scholastic and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and is designed to highlight the views of America’s public school teachers on important issues related to their profession, such as the rewards and challenges of teaching, teacher observations, evaluations and feedback, and how teachers collaborate within and beyond school walls with both peers and students’ families. As you may recall, we also released data on the implementation of the Common Core State Standards back in October.
This report reflects the views and voices of more than 20,000 of America’s PreK–12 public school teachers from all 50 states.
Throughout the day, we’ll be revealing data from the report on the Scholastic Teachers Facebook page and from @ScholasticTeach, and tonight, Scholastic’s Chief Academic Officer, Francie Alexander, will join us for a live Twitter chat to discuss the findings of the report. We encourage you to follow (and join!) the conversation online using #TeacherVoices.
In the meantime, here are just a few of the findings from this edition of Primary Sources:
- Teachers Bring Passion and Commitment to Their Challenging Work. Overwhelmingly passionate and committed, nearly all teachers (98%) agree that teaching is more than a profession; it is how they make a difference in the world. Though 82% of teachers report that constantly changing demands are a significant challenge, 88% agree that the rewards of teaching outweigh the challenges, and 89% say they are satisfied or very satisfied in their jobs.
- Teachers Are Enthusiastic About the Implementation of the Common Core, Even as They Acknowledge Challenges Ahead. While the percentage of teachers in Common Core adoption states who feel prepared to teach to the standards (75%) has grown since 2011, there is still a call for resources. To help the students in their classrooms meet the Common Core, teachers feel that the most important resources are instructional materials are age-appropriate, leveled and high-interest.
- Teachers Find Evaluations Most Helpful When They Include Actionable Feedback and Multiple Measures of Teacher and Student Performance. Teachers are lifelong learners who continually look to grow in their practice. Most teachers (78%) say they find their professional evaluations somewhat, very or extremely helpful and they tell us that actionable feedback is critical. Of the teachers who don’t find evaluations very or extremely helpful, 42% say they want more feedback.
- Teachers Seek to Collaborate In and Outside of School to Best Serve Students. Teachers tell us that lack of time to collaborate with their peers is a challenge (51%) and we see they are seeking new ways to share with their colleagues thanks to technology. For example, 91% say they use websites to find or share lesson plans. Regarding collaboration with parents, almost all teachers (98%) believe the best thing parents can do to help their child succeed in school is to avoid absences, followed closely by setting high expectations for their child and working in partnership with teachers when their child has challenges.
We invite you to visit www.scholastic.com/primarysources to explore the data in-depth (you’ll also find state-by-state data) and to download the full report. Again, you can join the conversation using #TeacherVoices. We look forward to hearing your thoughts!