Renewing America's Progress: A Positive Solution to School Reform

By Fredric H. Genck | Go to book overview

16
Teacher Survey: How to Improve Teacher Morale and Job Satisfaction

Participation of staff in decision making and in communicating problems and concerns is one of the most important areas of progress in modern management. It parallels the gradual shift from authoritarianism to participative democracy in government and political affairs and a generally greater freedom of choice open to individuals in the modern world.

The teacher survey at the end of this chapter parallels the one for parents in Chapter 15. Teachers' opinions are obviously more professional than those of parents, and generally closer to the school. Where parents and teachers agree, problems and concerns are likely to be real (often students, graduates, and taxpayers have similar perceptions). With slight modifications this survey can also be used for other staff members and even the board of education. In the same way that the parent survey encourages responsiveness to the customer, the teacher survey helps to open up communication and participation for staff. It signals to administrators (although you might think this would already be obvious, in an era of collective bargaining) that what the staff thinks, counts and must be considered, listened to, and responded to. Schools are fortunate to have several key groups to ask about problems, concerns, and improvement opportunities, as well as strengths and success. Generally teacher survey results identify more improvement opportunities than do parent surveys, as one would hope. Good performers in any field seldom run out of things that can be improved.

Many of the concepts on the parent survey apply to the teacher survey as well. Questions parallel those in the parent survey almost exactly, except for some slight rewording to adapt them to the viewpoint

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