Rural Teacher Satisfaction: An Analysis of Beliefs and Attitudes of Rural Teachers’ Job Satisfaction

John T. Huysman

Abstract


This study analyzed teachers’ beliefs and attitudes affecting job satisfaction in one small, rural Florida school district. This mixed methods study included a self-administered survey of  Likert-type items measuring 20 factors for job satisfaction and individual semi-structured interviews and focus groups. Several issues related to dissatisfaction surfaced not presented in previous studies. Teachers often found themselves frustrated at work because of conflicting expectations concerning their professional and social roles within the community and perceived that peers or coalitions within the schools possessed undue influence and power. Of most concern to participants was the perception of being unappreciated. This perception was influenced by the collective bargaining process and promoted the perception of a “lack of respect” and an “unhealthy competition” between homegrown and transplanted faculty. Addressing these perceptions afford rural administrators an opportunity to positively influence teacher retention, teacher quality, student achievement, and school climate.

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