Does New Generation of Teachers Also Care about Pay, Benefits, Retirement and Tenure?

Teaching is one of the most altruistic professions. Despite constant attacks on their profession and ongoing public criticism from some quarters in the modern era— teachers are the willing and expert caretakers of our nation. Education is the compass of our democracy.

As teacher shortages and high attrition continue to plague the profession, it is important to ask what is important to the new generation of teachers. Based on a recent request, we sent a survey to all of our new teachers in the the UK College of Education and asked about a few pecuniary and non-pecuniary aspects of the ongoing debates in the public policy. In just a few days, more than 100 of our University of Kentucky College of Education’s new teachers responded to inform our practice. Here are the questions and their answers.

The predominance of the peer reviewed research has indicated for quite awhile that pay, benefits, retirement and other factors are very important to new and veteran teachers. I think the comments to policymakers are also quite revealing and demonstrate that students are clearly discouraged by the current educational policy environment. This survey is not a comprehensive survey of all new teachers, but this sample of the questions does provide insight regarding the needs and desires of the new teachers that will enter (or not enter) our public schools in the near future.

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