A Journey Through Technology

Week 2: What role does professional satisfaction play in the effectiveness of a classroom?

on January 28, 2017

Professional satisfaction is something that I think we are all familiar with, even if the profession isn’t teaching. Burgess asks the question, “Do you want to be great?”, at the beginning of Part III of Teach Like a Pirate. (Burgess, 2012, Kindle Loc. 1764) I feel like that question plays a big part in the professional satisfaction of a teacher. If a teacher doesn’t feel satisfied with their job, why would they want to make themselves better or increase their effectiveness in the classroom? Likewise, if a teacher is not effective in the classroom, how satisfied would they be with what they are doing? I know that when I have bad days in the classroom, I often question if this is the right job for me, but it doesn’t take long for me to make a few adjustments and see that I really do belong in the classroom.

According to a study done in Kenya, it was concluded that job satisfaction does not significantly impact teacher effectiveness. (Ogochi, 2014, p.139) Maybe this means these teachers were able to work past their dissatisfaction with their job, or maybe there are other reasons that their effectiveness did not seem to be impacted. The study mentions multiple suggestions to further research the impact of teacher job satisfaction and the overall impact in education, and I would be interested in seeing results of further research with the same sample group. To me, it seems unlikely that satisfaction and effectiveness are not significantly related.

Another thing to look at would be the factors that affect job satisfaction. Job satisfaction factors include  “mentally challenging work, equitable rewards, supportive working conditions and supportive colleagues.” (Chamundeswari, 2013, p. 421) “Recent research has identified teacher quality as the most important variable in increasing student achievement.” (Chamundeswari, 2013, p.422) But what makes a quality teacher? The quality of a teacher could depend on a variety of things: content knowledge, classroom management skills, pedagogy knowledge, etc. Can quality be determined solely by job satisfaction? According to another study, it was concluded that teacher satisfaction and performance varied significantly depending on the working conditions of the teacher. Teachers with more favorable conditions had significantly better job satisfaction, and in turn performance, than those with less favorable conditions. (Chamundeswari, 2013, p.426)

Based on my research this week, I wold say the professional satisfaction does play a role in classroom effectiveness, though it is not the only factor that determines how effective a teacher is. I know that personally I tend to perform better when I’m happier with my situation, but there are other factors to take into account when considering how effective I can be in the classroom.

References

Burgess, D. (2012). Teach Like a Pirate: Increase Student Engagement, Boost your Creativity, and Transform your Life as an Educator. Dave Burgess Consulting. Kindle Edition.

Chamundeswari, S. (2013). Job Satisfaction and Performance of School Teachers. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 3(5), 420-428.

Ogochi, G. (2014). Job Satisfaction and Teacher Effectiveness in Selected Secondary Schools in Trans Mara West District, Kenya. Journal of Education and Practice, 5(37), 125–140.

 

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2 responses to “Week 2: What role does professional satisfaction play in the effectiveness of a classroom?

  1. Jule says:

    Your reference to the study done in Kenya really got me thinking! I realize after I read that, that satisfaction is an idea– similar to happiness. Happiness is all about perspective. Someone living off the land with just a hay roof over their head can be happier than someone with three houses. Feeling satisfied with something completely depends on your perspective of the situation. Perhaps, the teachers in Kenya truly are satisfied because the role they play in their community is what matters the most. It isn’t about “mentally challenging work, equitable rewards, supportive working conditions and supportive colleagues,” that are measuring their level of satisfaction, but rather just the fact that they get to teach.

    This puts satisfaction into perspective for me because I realize that with anything in our life, we are the dictators of what we feel and what happens. When we view a situation as positive or negative, that’s the ultimate deciding factor whether we are happy or not. Change our perspective, change our satisfaction!

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  2. Tristan Leiter says:

    I found the research you used in your blog post this week interesting. The first part about the research from Kenya that job satisfaction doesn’t influence teacher effectiveness struck me because I think the exact opposite, so maybe I’m wrong, or maybe it depends on the country and culture. I know the days where I’m not satisfied with my job, whether it be external or internal factors, I don’t do as well, and I go home knowing that I didn’t do my best and that I wasn’t effective. So I always thought that people who were not satisfied with their career day in and day out would not be effective in any way, no matter what their profession. We have to go the extra mile for our students, and I don’t think people who aren’t satisfied do that, which leads to ineffectiveness in the classroom.

    I also wonder what makes a quality teacher. Like you mentioned there are many factors that could play a part in a quality teacher. I think job satisfaction plays a large role in the effectiveness of a teacher. Effective and quality seem to be synonymous. I think effectiveness does increase student achievement. Imagine two teachers that teach the exact same subject to two different groups of kids. The one teacher loves their job, does fun engaging activities to increase student engagement, the students love the class and are actually enjoying the learning process because they know their teacher cares about them. The other teacher comes into class each day and lectures in a monotone voice to a group of kids, doesn’t enjoy the kids or being there and it shows. Unless the kids in the second teacher’s class are motivated to learn, to me, it seems like the kids in the first teacher’s class are going to achieve much more than students in the second. Anyone can become a teacher, but it takes a great deal of passion, patience, and love to actually be a teacher.

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