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20 Years...Have Things Changed?

In 1992, Metropolitan Life Insurance did a survey of 1000 teachers who began teaching in the fall of 1990. Some relevant results to ponder:

  • 93% believed before they began teaching that "all children can learn." That dropped to 86% after two years.
  • 83% felt at first they could "really make a difference in the lives of their students," but this dropped to 71%
  • 28% said before teaching that "many children come to school with so many problems it's difficult for them to be good students," then increased to 50%
  • 25% said their experience with parents has been satisfying
  • 19% of the teachers plan to quit in 5 years, with 40% of these citing lack of parental support as the main reason
At that time, Washington D.C. School's Superintendent described the survey results as "sort of predictable."

So, now it is 2010...what has changed? For one, more than 50% of the mathematics teachers will leave the profession sometime in their first five years. Second, the observed trends would be amplified...as that,unfortunately, is "sort of predictable."

Source: USA Today, 1992