Education

Creature Comforts

By Anthony Rebora — November 04, 2005 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

In a recent entry on her blog, a science teacher going by the Web name Ms. Fizzle vented her frustrations about the heating system in her school:

“In four years of teaching at this school, I have NEVER ONCE taught in a classroom that was a comfortable temperature during winter months. Never. I have thermometers posted on the walls—for science—and I have seen classrooms hit 98 degrees and classrooms in the low 60s. ... How can anyone expect excellence of teachers and students when we work under conditions like these?”

Ms. Fizzle’s comments point to a perhaps undervalued factor in teachers’ job satisfaction: the condition of school facilities.

A 2004 research report issued by the National Clearinghouse on Educational Facilities—and funded by the Ford Foundation and the 21st Century School Fund—concludes that the quality of school facilities is an “important predictor” of teachers’ decisions on whether to stay at a school.

Crunching data from a survey of teachers in Washington, D.C., the researchers found that the level of school-facilities quality corresponded with the probability of whether teachers would remain in their jobs for another year. In a comparison of various attrition factors, in addition, they determined that the effect of poor facilities on teacher-retention decisions was greater than that of dissatisfaction with pay.

The report points to a number of aspects of school facilities—including air quality, temperature, and classroom lighting—that have been shown to affect teacher morale and student performance. Making improvements in such areas, it suggests, could be a viable and cost-effective retention strategy over the long term.

By same token, highlighting quality facilities and environmental conditions may be an effective addition to recruitment strategies.

Events

Special Education Webinar Reading, Dyslexia, and Equity: Best Practices for Addressing a Threefold Challenge
Learn about proven strategies for instruction and intervention that support students with dyslexia.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Personalized Learning Webinar
No Time to Waste: Individualized Instruction Will Drive Change
Targeted support and intervention can boost student achievement. Join us to explore tutoring’s role in accelerating the turnaround. 
Content provided by Varsity Tutors for Schools
Student Well-Being K-12 Essentials Forum Social-Emotional Learning: Making It Meaningful
Join us for this event with educators and experts on the damage the pandemic did to academic and social and emotional well-being.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: November 23, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: November 2, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: October 19, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: October 12, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read