Survey Finds TN Teachers Upbeat About Their Profession

Gov. Bill Haslam announced results of the TELL Survey at Stewarts Creek Elementary in Smyrna. Credit: TN Photo ServicesGov. Bill Haslam announced results of the TELL Survey at Stewarts Creek Elementary in Smyrna. Credit: TN Photo Services
Gov. Bill Haslam announced results of the TELL Survey at Stewarts Creek Elementary in Smyrna. Credit: TN Photo ServicesGov. Bill Haslam announced results of the TELL Survey at Stewarts Creek Elementary in Smyrna. Credit: TN Photo Services

An exhaustive survey completed by most public school teachers in Tennessee – more than 61,000 educators – finds more are satisfied with their principal, their school building and the demands on their time. The broad results show teachers are feeling better about their work.

This is a survey that’s been conducted in 20 states. Most – like Tennessee – received Race to the Top grant money from the federal government. Overall, the state’s marks improved a few points from 2011, and 4th grade teacher Jennifer Secrest says she believes the new stats.

“It’s an anonymous survey,” she says. “So I do feel like teachers really do get to express how they feel.”

But the statewide numbers don’t mean a whole lot, says Carol Schmook of the Tennessee Education Association.

“The most meaning is going to be found when you really look at the data school-by-school and district-by-district,” Schmook says.

Take Stewarts Creek Elementary in Rutherford County. More than 83 percent of teachers say class sizes are reasonable. But hop the county line to Cane Ridge Elementary in Metro Schools and just 63 percent are cool with class sizes.

The survey asks whether teachers plan to stay put or go work elsewhere. For example, 27 percent of teachers at Nashville’s Cameron Middle School would like to work at another school. That compares to 4 percent statewide.

The red part of the chart indicates how many teachers would like to teach at a different school. Credit: TELL Survey
The red part of the chart indicates how many teachers would like to teach at a different school. Credit: TELL Survey

 

To see if teachers at your school plan to stick around, search the results here.

Blake Farmer

Blake Farmer is WPLN's assistant news director, but he wears many hats - reporter, editor and host. He covers the Tennessee state capitol while also keeping an eye on Fort Campbell and business trends, frequently contributing to national programs. Born in Tennessee and educated in Texas, Blake has called Nashville home for most of his life.
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