Teaching Profession Opinion

Hope and Help for the Disheartened

By AAEE — October 27, 2009 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

I apologize for this blog being offline for a few weeks. We were having some volunteer scheduling problems but are now back on track and eager to be of assistance!!

I wanted to start our comeback with a very timely article that appeared in last week’s EdWeek. The lead sentence stated that “Two out of five of America’s teachers appear disheartened and disappointed about their jobs.” The article further elaborates, “The view that teaching is “so demanding, it’s a wonder that more people don’t burn out” is remarkably pervasive, particularly among the Disheartened, - they are twice as likely as other teachers to strongly agree with this view.” They are also more likely to “voice high levels of frustration about the school administration, disorder in the classroom, and the undue focus on testing.”

Based on a study conducted by researchers Jean Johnson, Andrew Yarrow, Jonathan Rochkind and Amber Ott and their subsequent paper, “Teaching for a Living: How Teachers See the Profession Today” the timing of this article perfectly coincides with the mid-term mark for those of you who are currently student teaching. Though the Disheartened group tended to have been older and taught for a longer period of time, their attitude towards teaching may be creeping into your thoughts, as a brand new teacher. So, at this stage of your professional training it is probably very wise to stop and check to see how happy you are with your decision to become a teacher?

In the survey, the researchers found “that teachers divided into three groups: the Idealists (23 percent), the Contented (37 percent) and the Disheartened (40 percent). Each of the groups has a distinctive set of attitudes and concerns that shape how they approach teaching and education reform.” In which category would you currently place yourself?

If your answers to the two questions above are of concern to you, I strongly advise that you schedule a time to talk with a career counselor at your university Career Center. These individuals do not have a vested interest in talking you into or out of the teaching field, but rather, they will help you to sort out your own thoughts and feelings about your specific experiences and the profession in general. It is far better for you to wrestle with these thoughts now than it is for you to allow negativity to fester.
See your career counselor today and tell them the Career Corner blog sent you!!!

Curt Schafer
Director of Career Services
Texas State University

The opinions expressed in Career Corner are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.