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Resources and collaboration are key to student success

NEA Vice President responds to new MetLife survey findings


WASHINGTON - March 24, 2010 -

Reinforcing what the National Education Association has stressed for years, a new survey details the benefits of collaboration, teacher satisfaction and opportunities for teacher leadership. The third and final part of the MetLife Survey of the American Teacher: Collaborating for Student Success was released today. It focuses on teaching as a career and details findings based on surveys of public school teachers, principals and students.

The MetLife survey had a number of major findings, including:

  • Career satisfaction levels are high among teachers in suburban and rural schools, while teachers in urban schools are less likely to be very satisfied. 
  • Highly satisfied teachers tend to have higher expectations for their students. They are less likely to leave the profession and they have stronger views on shared responsibility and collaboration.
  • New teachers are often assigned to the most challenging schools with the highest teacher turnover rates.
  • “Hybrid roles” are appealing to teachers, offering them the opportunity to teach in the classroom part-time and have other roles in their school or district.

The following can be attributed to National Education Association Vice President Lily Eskelsen:

“We are pleased that MetLife is examining this important issue. Their findings reinforce what we know…that positive working conditions enhance the quality of teaching and learning in all schools. You build positive working conditions by providing resources, support and opportunities to collaborate and grow.

“We must work to address issues around job satisfaction and turnover rates in high needs schools. In what other profession are novices assigned the most challenging work, often without adequate resources and support, and expected to flourish? To have effective teachers in every classroom, we have to provide induction, mentoring, teacher teams, and professional development.

“NEA is also working to transform high-needs schools though our Priority Schools Campaign. Our commitment includes a vow to work with communities and policymakers to pursue innovative programs to measure student success and teacher quality. We are also committed to attracting and keeping the best educators and necessary resources for the schools of greatest need.  

“We agree with the survey’s findings that collaboration is critical. Schools should be like families with a shared sense of responsibility. You discuss what works and what doesn’t to ensure the success of all students.  This is where hybrid models can be particularly helpful. We can safeguard against moving our most effective teachers out of the classroom, by allowing them to teach part of the day and provide instructional leadership at other times. Opportunities to influence and improve their schools beyond their immediate classrooms are exciting to teachers and lead to real and positive changes for students.”

For more on NEA’s Priority Schools Campaign: http://neapriorityschools.org/
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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional organization, representing 3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: Ramona Parks-Kirby  (202) 822-7823, rparks@nea.org