American Teachers Really Like Their Jobs | Follow Issues Like the University Admission Scandal Closely | Have Surprising Opinions About Security | Prioritize Their Concerns About Issues that Effect Their Jobs.

Teachers survey reveals: Unlike government, school leadership while government is seen as unsupportive.


In a recent K-12 Teacher online panel study American teachers generally report strong job satisfaction as 56% report liking their jobs a great deal and over 90% liking it a good amount.

teachers online research like their job

How much do you like being a teacher?Total
A great deal56%
A good amount35%
Not very much2%
Not all at all0%


Women, older teachers, and urban teachers like being teachers somewhat more than their male, younger, and rural counterparts.


How much do you like being a teacher?% Saying a Great Deal


On balance more teachers like their job more now than they did three years ago. Teachers in affluent areas are more apt to like teaching more than they did three years ago.


Do you like teaching more, less or about the same as you did three years ago?TotalAffluentNot so Affluent
About the same37%34%38%
Wasn’t teaching three years ago5%7%3%


3 in 5 would recommend teaching to recent graduates.


To what extent would you recommend teaching as a profession to recent graduates?Total
Definitely would30%
Probably would30%
Might or might not22%
Probably would not12%
Definitely would not6%


Teachers give outstanding marks to their students, but a majority also like their administration and district.


How much do you like each of the following?Your studentsYour administrationYour district
A great deal61%30%28%
A good amount31%36%39%
Not very much1%11%8%
Not all at all0%2%2%


After their families who are generally seen to provide overwhelming support, teachers feel most supported by their administration in the form of their principal, vice-principals, and department leaders in addition to their students.


Government at every level is seen as providing weak support by an overwhelming number of teachers as fewer than 3 in 10 see federal, state and local government as providing excellent or very good support.


Parents lag behind administrators in providing support, but are no as bad as the various levels of government.


How would you rate the support you receive from each of the following to do your job effectively?ExcellentVery goodGoodFairPoor
Your family56%28%13%4%0%
Your principal38%23%20%12%8%
Your students31%34%25%8%1%
Your department leader30%33%26%9%3%
Your vice-principals27%29%24%14%6%
The school superintendent21%23%29%19%8%
Parents of children in your class(es)16%29%33%16%6%
The Board of Education13%24%31%22%10%
The local government8%19%35%26%12%
The federal government5%13%26%30%26%
The state government5%16%30%27%22%


Teachers Are Most Concerned About Funding/Budget Cuts, Poverty & Standardized Testing

The top concerns that teachers have about their current situation are funding/budget cuts, standardized testing, poverty and bullying.

Teachers Online Research

Please state how much each of the following is a concern you currently have about your teaching situation.The top concernMajor concernModerate concernMinor concernNot at a concern
Funding/budget cuts26%36%22%10%6%
Standardized testing19%34%26%13%7%
Class size15%26%31%19%10%
Parental involvement15%35%30%13%7%
Student health15%26%33%17%10%
Drug use13%21%26%19%20%
Availability of supplies12%30%30%16%11%
Teacher training10%22%34%19%14%
School facility quality8%26%35%18%13%
Availability of technology8%25%31%19%17%
Extracurricular programs8%16%34%26%16%


  • Nearly 4 in 5 teachers (79%) think that parents need to become more actively involved in their children’s education as more teachers disagree (44%) than agree (38%) that students arrive in their classroom academically prepared for their grade level.
  • 62% agree students should be more aggressively grouped to classes by their academic abilities.
  • 3 in 5 (60%) say that all students should be prepared to go to college.
  • Teachers are divided on whether students have too much homework. 33% agree and 37% disagree.
  • Teachers say both administrators and teachers need to do more to protect students from violence. 62% of teachers agree that administrators need to do more and 49% say they need to do more to protect students from violence


Please state how much do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements.Strongly agreeSomewhat agreeNeither agree nor disagreeSomewhat disagreeStrongly disagree
Most parents need to become more actively involved in their children’s education45%34%13%5%2%
All students should be prepared to go to college33%25%21%14%8%
Administrators need to do more to protect students from violence at school24%38%25%9%4%
Parents who complain typically get what they ask for23%35%25%13%5%
Students from wealthier families get better treatment than those from less wealthy families22%33%20%14%11%
Students should be more aggressively matched to classes by academic ability21%41%23%11%4%
All students are treated equally19%31%15%26%9%
Students are adequately academically challenged17%45%21%14%3%
Your school district does everything it can to get students into the best colleges possible15%32%29%16%7%
Teachers need to do more to protect students from violence at school14%35%28%16%7%
Students currently are required to do too much homework11%22%30%23%14%
Most students arrive in your classroom prepared academically prepared for their grade level10%28%18%26%18%


Teachers Follow University Admissions Scandal Closely. The Scandal Surprises Few Teachers 3 in 5 Teachers Believe At Least Some Parents in Their District Would Go to Such Lengths


An online research study shows the university admissions scandal is being followed closely by most teachers. Over 1 in 3 (35%) have heard a great deal about it, while only 16% have heard not very much or nothing at all about it.


Older teachers are more likely to have heard a great deal about the scandal than younger ones, while teachers teaching in affluent areas are less likely to have heard a great deal or good amount about it.


How much did you hear or read anything about the indictment of 50 people for their role in paying to get students into prestigious universities?TotalAgeAffluence
Under 3030-3940-4950 or olderAffluentNot so affluent
A great deal35%21%34%38%45%32%36%
A good amount28%35%28%23%26%25%30%
Not very much11%9%13%13%7%12%11%
Nothing at all5%11%5%1%2%7%4%
Online Research - OvationMR - Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved.


The story came as a surprise to less than 1 in 4 (22%) teachers.

Teachers Online Research

Does this story surprise you?TotalAffluent Not so affluent


Online Research Reveals More Differences in Teachers of Affluent/NonAffluent Students

25% of teachers say about half or most parents in their district would go to such lengths to get their children into prestigious schools. A clear majority (59%) say at least some parents would go to such lengths. Teachers in affluent districts were more likely to say that parents in their districts would take such actions.


What proportion of parents in your district would be willing to go to such lengths to get their children to prestigious schools?TotalHeard a Great DealSurprisedNot SurprisedAffluentNot So Affluent
Most (>=60%)9%11%14%8%17%5%
About half (40-59%)16%18%26%13%22%13%
Some (10-39%)34%34%29%35%36%33%
A few (Less than 10%)34%30%26%36%22%40%
Online Research - OvationMR - Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved.

3 in 4 Teacher Consider Themselves Underpaid, A 20% Raise Would Likely Be Adequate


The median teacher makes between $50,000 & $60,000 per year. 70% of all teachers make between $30,000 and $70,000 or year. Older teachers have higher salaries due to their longer tenure and experience. Rural teachers tend to have lower salaries than their urban and suburban counterparts.


Into which category does your annual teaching salary fall into?TotalUnder 3030-3940-4950 or olderUrbanSuburbanRural
Under $20,0001%0%2%0%0%2%0%0%
$20,000 to $29,9994%13%4%1%0%2%5%5%
$30,000 to $39,99915%26%16%9%10%14%12%25%
$40,000 to $49,99921%23%25%21%15%21%20%26%
$50,000 to $59,99921%20%19%24%21%24%20%18%
$60,000 to $69,99914%9%17%12%16%12%17%10%
$70,000 to $79,9998%3%8%10%9%7%8%8%
$80,000 to $89,9996%3%4%12%7%9%6%1%
$90,000 or more8%3%4%10%16%7%9%5%
Would rather not say2%3%1%1%5%2%3%1%


Just over 3 in 4 teachers consider themselves to be underpaid.


Despite receiving higher salaries than their younger proteges, older teachers are disproportionately likely to think they are underpaid.


Rural teachers, who generally receive lower salaries are more apt to think they are underpaid.


Additionally, teachers who predominantly teach students from less affluent families are also more likely to think they are underpaid.


For your teaching work, do you consider yourself to be…TotalUnder 3030-3940-4950 or olderUrbanSuburbanRuralAffluentNot so affluent
Strongly underpaid33%26%28%39%42%33%30%39%25%37%
Somewhat underpaid43%44%53%39%29%44%44%43%43%43%
Fairly paid21%26%16%20%29%19%24%17%27%19%
Somewhat overpaid2%4%2%1%0%4%0%1%3%1%
Strongly overpaid1%0%1%1%0%0%1%0%2%0%


The median percentage raise underpaid teachers said they needed to get to be paid adequately was 20 percent. The media was slightly lower, 15%, for better compensated groups of teachers including teachers 50 and over, suburban teachers and those who primarily teach students from affluent families.


IF UNDERPAID: What percentage raise would you have to get in order for you to be paid adequately?
Median: 20%


Teachers, despite being underpaid, typically spend $300 of their own money on school supplies, signaling their dedication to their students.


How much of your own money do you spend on supplies for your students every year?
Median: $300


The majority (62%) who spend their own money on supplies do take advantage of the tax deduction for them, but another 38% do not.


Do you deduct these expenses from your taxes?Teachers Who Buy Supplies


Majority of US school shootings are perpetrated by members of the school community**. Still most K-12 teachers believe threats come from outsiders an online teacher study reveals.


The online research study found most teachers (62%) see outsiders as a bigger safety threat than members of the school community.

Teachers Online Research Safety and Security


Members of the school community38%


A majority of teachers (56%) have a minor police presence at their school.


How would you characterize the police presence in your school?Total
Major presence18%
Minor presence56%
No presence26%

Over 7 in 10 teachers think it is appropriate for police to be armed with guns at school. Private school teachers were somewhat less likely to welcome armed police including support for 2 in 3 teachers who identify as Democrats according to this online teacher panel study.


Support for armed police is lower at private schools.


Do you think it is appropriate to have police armed with guns at your school?TotalParty IDSchool Type


In contrast to armed police, only roughly 1 in 4 (26%) teachers think it’s appropriate for some well-trained teachers to carry guns at school.  This issue divides across typical political and regional lines with Republicans and rural teachers more apt to support such a policy.


Do you think it is appropriate for some well-trained teachers to carry guns in your school?TotalParty IDRegion


Sadly, 3 in 4 teachers report their schools participate in active shooter drills in the aftermath of such school shootings in Columbine, CO and Parkland, FL.


Does your school participate in active shooter drills?Total


Andrew Ribner is Chief Research Officer at OvationMR and is responsible for Online Panel and Online Sample Data Quality. He also consults with clients on sampling design for various types of online research campaigns and political polling. Andrew can be reached at

To learn more about OvationMR Online Teacher Panel solutions or our other Online Sampling and our online methodology for ensuring your success you can visit Panel Quality & Recruitment or Download 2019 PanelBook and/or contact us at

** Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense K-12 schools shooting database

Share This