Teaching Profession From Our Research Center

It’s Been a Tough Time for Teachers. But Students See Their Dedication, Survey Finds

By Alyson Klein — April 24, 2023 1 min read
Image of a high school student talking with a teacher.
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Teachers are working hard to make up academic ground lost during the pandemic, help students navigate a mental health crisis, and understand the impact of new technologies like ChatGPT.

One piece of good news? Their effort isn’t going unnoticed by the people who matter most: students.

More than four in five teens—81 percent—said they believed their teachers were motivated to help them learn, compared with 19 percent who believe their teachers are unmotivated, according to a survey conducted by the EdWeek Research Center.

In fact, more than one in three students—37 percent—said their teachers are “very motivated” to teach them. Just 6 percent said they are very unmotivated, according to the survey, which included 1,011 teenagers and was conducted in late December and early January.

Teachers’ efforts aren’t lost on their colleagues, principals, and district leaders, either. A similar percentage of teachers, principals, and district leaders—80 percent—who responded to a separate EdWeek Research Center survey, also conducted in December and January, said that they and other teachers in their school are motivated to help students learn. In fact, 41 percent of educators said that teachers in general are “very motivated” to teach right now.

“There’s no doubt that this has been an extremely difficult time for students, for teachers, for parents,” said Susan Moore Johnson, a research professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education who studies the teaching profession. “But I still know that kids count on their teachers. I think they have very high expectations of their teachers. I think that that figure of 81 percent is pretty impressive given what [educators] have been through.”

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Data analysis for this article was provided by the EdWeek Research Center. Learn more about the center’s work.

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