2018 Survey Results: Attitudes toward Education and Support from the Community

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How do teachers, board members, and other team members feel about their work in education? In this section of the survey results, we explore morale, as well as levels of support from administration and the community.

How is Morale at Your School?

This question is, by its nature, subjective. Respondents might not all choose the same number on a scale even to describe the same level of morale. Nonetheless, morale across the group seemed to be strong:

In general, respondents felt that staff morale was slightly higher than student morale—and that their own morale was lower than that of staff in general. Perhaps we project more confidence than we feel.

Separating responses according to gender and school size revealed some interesting differences.

Men in the smallest schools and in mid-size schools felt the least enthusiastic about their work. It is important to note, however, that even their rating of 4.4 represents a slightly better than neutral outlook.

When morale is filtered by experience, however, the results are not quite what one might expect. The newest teachers feel the best about their teaching:

How Much Support Does the School Have?

Respondents noted strong support from parents and administration, with somewhat less consistent support from church.

What is One Important Thing You Learned This Year about Education?

We asked educators to offer one insight they’ve discovered in the past year. Below are ten responses to this question. We look forward to sharing more in the coming weeks.

Humility is required!

That differentiated instruction is very difficult.

Classroom control is challenging if the students had a year without it.

So much goes into the behind the scenes!

That students learn more by what they see me do than by the words I say.

I’m working with a child who is confrontational, I’ve learned that one way to avoid a blowup is to give him a choice. E.g., Would you like to go out now or to and sit in your desk? There is something powerful about giving them the choice. Please understand that this is a difficult situation I’m in and not how I would normally interact with my students.

The importance of prayer. We as staff members have made a point to pray for each student individually (we pull names from container each week, returning them to a separate container, then starting all over again, about every 4-5 weeks). We also pray for each other by name. The staff ladies have also begun meeting each morning for a prayer time for specific students who are creating challenges in their classrooms.

This might not seem like it’s about education, but in the long run it is because it affects the heart, which is where we need to begin for education to have any lasting value.

Parents do not care enough about it! They do not seem to realize that education through the school years is a onetime opportunity, and children cannot make choices about this area of their own life. By the time they are old enough to understand completely, it is too late.

Progress is not always big and noticeable. Sometimes it’s as small as a baby step.

Excessive screen time at a young age can do the same thing to children’s brains that addiction to drugs does.

ADHD is a condition that exists because of other conditions, of which there are many possibilities. What works one day for a child with ADHD will most likely stop working in a few days or less.

Children with RAD need to be trained very differently than children without RAD. One thing they do well at is pitting their authority against each other so as to get the attention off themselves – divide and conquer. I have a student with RAD and ADHD this year. I learned that answers are difficult to find and sometimes even more difficult to implement well.”

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