Across the nation, the state of teaching is rather bleak for many. In some districts, they’re laying off staff in the hundreds as they brace for the looming fiscal cliff. Others, however, are fortunate enough to be adding positions. But ultimately, teachers have the final say in whether they want to continue in the increasingly complex profession. And the good news is they will, under a few conditions.
A new survey from Kahoot!, a popular game-based learning platform, offers insight into the thoughts and feelings teachers hold toward their jobs and what they’d like to see improve.
Based on responses from more than 2,000 teachers across the country, here’s what teachers had to say:
Teachers plan to return
According to the results, 48% said they’re fairly certain they’ll continue teaching, and that quitting was “very” or “somewhat unlikely.” An additional 17% said they’re uncertain about their plans.
On the other hand, more than one-third (35%) said they’re currently “contemplating a change.” These findings represent teachers ranging in experience, from five or fewer years to veterans who have been teaching for more than 30 years.
Teachers’ greatest challenges
Among the various issues that drive teachers out of the profession, two student-centered problems have become their biggest headache.
The survey revealed that student engagement is the most common challenge they face, and it’s driven by poor behavior. Twenty-seven percent of respondents considered this their “biggest hurdle in the profession.”
An additional 19% reported students’ lack of attention during lessons, and another 18% cited disruptive behavior, or what they like to call “acting out” as another major concern.
The second issue they face is feeling like they’re always in a time crunch. Thirty-four percent said they wished they had more time to prepare lessons and grade papers. Others said they’d like more classroom resources (20%) and better support from parents and families (18%).
While these challenges persist, teachers say they’re increasing student engagement through game-based learning. Their reasons include:
- It creates a fun learning environment (16%)
- For student review (14%)
- It gives students a break from traditional learning (13%)
- It diversifies lesson plans/structure (11%)
- It helps build community within the classroom (10%)