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Nearly One-Third of New Jersey Teachers Would Choose a Different Career Path

Poll Finds 31% Want a Job “Do Over”

Red Bank, NJ, - (March 9, 2015) A recent poll conducted by Plymouth Rock Assurance – Teachers’ Insurance Plan of NJ revealed that nearly one-third of New Jersey teachers polled would choose a different career path if they “were given a ‘do over,’ that is, an opportunity to go back in time and change your life.”

That’s nearly twice as many teachers as Gallup found were “actively disengaged” from their jobs (16%) in a recent survey, indicating that the pool of unhappy teachers in the state may be larger than anyone imagines.

Why are Jersey’s teachers discontented? Results from the poll highlighted frustrations revealed in an earlier Teachers’ Insurance “Educators’ Roundtable.”

Playing Too Many Roles. Participants in the Roundtable expressed a concern that teachers are required to play many roles – mother/father, role model and mentor. They are more than the “x’s and o’s” of education. Oftentimes, they are politicians, not only mediating issues in the classroom but also with parents; even representing needs before school administrators.

Challenges Beyond the Classroom. Roundtable participants also shared that motivating and getting through to students are the prominent everyday classroom challenges. This is compounded by a perceived lack of administrative and parent support. Teachers in the roundtable noted that they are underappreciated by parents and believe that they are seen as daycare workers. Further, they noted their frustration in communicating the challenges of teaching to parents.

While there’s no doubt that it’s a tough time for teachers in New Jersey, the poll also highlighted insights from the 69% of teachers who confirmed they would choose the same career path given the chance.

Investment in the future. Roundtable members perceived teaching as an “investment in the future” that when done right, shows a direct and immediate impact – one that can be seen in the development of students. Further, they were drawn to education because of the value they saw in being able to improve students’ lives.

Meaning. More than a pleasurable feeling; their self-worth seemed to be tied to their experiences as educators.

These insights show that the key to job satisfaction for teachers may lie in their ability to remain focused on the rewards of teaching despite continuous job stressors.

See further details on the The Big Secret to Loving Your Job as a Teacher blog.

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