Term one of our secondary schooling is over, we , the teachers, I mean all the teachers, were ecstatic (rather ‘intoxicated’ with joy) throughout the day. Most of the corridor conversations centred around forthcoming ‘holiday’. Throughout this term my personal ‘research’ (undisclosed) was to ‘captivate’ a bunch of ‘intriguing’ pupils, rather a very challenging cohort of young people who are less than sympathetic towards general teacher’s job satisfaction. But holiday, indeed has begun and the ‘untamed wild horses’ have returned home, so I decided to sit and do a bit of reading – thus stumbled on to a research paper from a far-flung place called Cyprus which delves into Sources of teacher job satisfaction and dissatisfaction.
First and foremost thing which attracted my attention is the subject matter has different outcomes in a developed and under-developed world. The literature points out that the teachers in a developed country derives their satisfaction with interactions with students, relationships held with colleagues and opportunities to contribute to the growth of individual and the development of society. Whereas, in developing countries teachers’ job satisfaction usually comes from extrinsic rather than intrinsic motives. For example, the salary, the hours and the holidays associated with this job (Zemylas & Papanastasiou, 2004). There is a general consensus and it is true for both the world, the main factor found to contribute to the job satisfaction to teachers is clearly related to levels of intrinsic motivation.
An extract from Mykletun, 1984; Zigarelli, 1996; Lathan, 1998, the main factor found to contribute to the job satisfaction is teachers' working with children. Additional factors included: developing warm, personal relationships with children, the intellectual challenge of teaching, having autonomy and independence, having opportunities to try new ideas, participating in decision making and reform efforts, developing social relations with colleagues and having opportunities for growth. All these support our school's Manaakitanga messages: The Core Values.
The article went on to say that teachers view job dissatisfaction as principally contributed to by work overload, poor pay and perceptions of how teachers are viewed by society. Now I know why I am, sometimes, inundated with the feeling of loss, disillusionment, vulnerability and negative perceptions of self-worth. That reminds me of the monotony of daily routines, a lack of motivation and discipline on the students’ part and a lack of support and appreciation from colleagues and adminstration. Farber, 1991; Friedman; Farber, 1992; Travers & Cooper, 1996; Vandenberghe & Huberman, 1999 unequivocally said, ‘these factors are associated with some of the reasons that teachers leave the profession, the profession my dad, mum, sisters and brothers used to cherish so much.
Zembylas, M., & Papanastasiou, E. (2006). Sources of teacher job satisfaction and dissatisfaction in Cyprus. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 36(2), 229–247. http://doi.org/10.1080/03057920600741289