What makes you satisfied at your job is usually an answer with many parts. Likely answers include job security, earning a fair pay and having the correct tools to do your work.
It’s fair to say that teachers likely would feel more effective if they had things like school buildings that were sized correctly for the student population, equal access in all schools to technology, and a system of monitoring the successes they felt were reflective of their efforts.
They don’t need their employer to pay a national survey company nearly $1 million to tell them that.
Montgomery County Public Schools launched a partnership with Gallup in 2012 to measure employee and student engagement and to use the results to help guide the school system’s improvement efforts. It is a $300,000-a-year, three-year contract to measure hope, well-being and engagement of students and staff.
Employees who enjoy coming to work bring an energy that has a ripple effect on students and on creating a culture where innovation and creativity thrive, according to the Gallup survey website.
Employee engagement also was measured by a survey developed jointly by Gallup and MCPS. An employee’s level of engagement has links to various school outcomes, including employee retention, parent engagement, student retention, and student achievement, according to the site.
No argument there. The objectives are in the right place, but perhaps the money spent hearing the obvious needs of teachers could be better spent in meeting those needs.
A parallel survey was given to students in grades 5 through 12 that measures hope, engagement and well-being — actionable targets linked to student achievement, retention and future employment.
While the student version of the Gallup survey was free, it seems that asking teens or preteens on one snapshot day how they feel may not be totally accurate. Many parents would agree that, especially during these years, a Vine video, a tweet or a text could alter their mood. So, if they’re asked survey questions such as “Did you smile or laugh a lot yesterday?” or “My teachers make me feel my schoolwork is important,” it’s less reflective of their overall sentiment about school and more about their current mindset.
It’s true that $900,000 won’t solve all of the school system’s needs. But it might give students and staff the hope that the school leaders are finding every dollar to put toward their well being.