The MetLife Survey of the American Teacher comes out every year, and they just released the first of three parts. It’s called “Effective Teaching and Leadership.”
I wasn’t surprised by most of the information in the report (which apparently includes survey results from both teachers, administrators and students). However, I was shocked, saddened and disappointed by what was written in its last line:
Only half of students (53%) strongly agree that all of the teachers in their school want them to succeed, with fewer secondary school students than elementary school students holding this view (44% vs. 66%).
I don’t know about you, but I find this just so, so sad. I’m sure a far greater percentage of teachers truly want students to succeed. However, it’s obvious that this message is not getting through. And it’s not the students’ fault that they’re not hearing it, it’s our fault for not communicating that concern through our words and actions.
What would students at your school say?
In fairness, the words “strongly agree” and “all” make that not so depressing. As a student, if you’ve got even one lousy teacher in your school, I could see not being able to “strongly agree” that ALL of the teachers want you to succeed.
I’m afraid that many schools would share similar results, which makes me think of the following: Students don’t care how much you know, they want to know that you care.
I also can’t help but think of Chris Lehmann and his words on building Communities of Care.
If the statistic accurately depicts how students feel then it is a sad finding. But I think whether a student feels that their teacher doesn’t care about their success has to do with what kind of student they are. As much as we might wish this isn’t true I’m sure it’s easier for teachers to encourage student’s that work hard and it’s easier for teachers to get excited about that child’s future then the one that they practically have to pull teeth to get them to work. I’m not saying that is a good thing but I’m sure it is the natural way of things.
I think that since teachers have had to increasingly play more roles for children (parents, therapists, counselor, police officer etc) that our role as true educators and facilitators of knowledge has diminished.
If parents would consistently be parents, then I could focus on not babysitting and truly develop my as a mentor.