Teacher friendly bloggers and websites are all writing this week about the MetLife Survey of the American Teacher. (See Ed Week , Huffington Post , The Answer Sheet , Larry Ferlazzo for more) The take away headline is this "Teacher Job Satisfaction At A Low Point." Interesting headlines usually provide some bit of surprising information. Not this one.
Look at what is happening across the country: reduced funding, larger class sizes, more initiatives and mandates with less support, legislation to weaken the status of teachers, accountability movements that are detrimental to student learning, the list could go on.
While the headline about teacher satisfaction may fall on a few sympathetic ears, teachers in public education should realize that for many this finding will fall under the category of "who cares?" Our salaries are paid by the public. A public which has largely dealt with economic problems for nearly half a decade. This same public cringes at the gas pump, worries about mortgages going under water, faces uncertainty with employment, and otherwise lives in doubt about the economic future of their household and nation.
To this public, a likely response to the headline may be "Welcome to the club!" Our current economic situation is not an excuse for teachers to roll over and watch the systematic dismantling of public education, but general surveys of the working public show the same trend.
What is the appropriate reaction to this survey? Should teachers shout out for change and demand better conditions or is it time we realized that times are hard all around?