MetLife Survey of the American Teacher

February 21, 2013

Today, MetLife released The MetLife Survey of the American Teacher: Challenges for School Leadership.

The report examines the views of teachers and principals on the responsibilities and challenges facing school leaders, including the changing roles of principals and teachers, budget and resources, professional satisfaction, and implementation of the Common Core State Standards.

Some highlights from the survey findings include:

· The responsibilities of school leadership have changed significantly in recent years, leading to a job that principals say has become too complex, highly stressful and less professionally satisfying.

· Among eight major responsibilities of school leadership, the three that teachers and principals identify as the most challenging are ones schools cannot address alone: managing budgets and resources, addressing the needs of diverse learners, and engaging parents and communities to improve education.

· While educators agree that principals should be held accountable for everything that happens in their schools, they emphasize an effective principal shares leadership responsibility with teachers and other staff. Half of teachers report having some type of formal leadership role and express interest in in teaching in the classroom part-time combined with other roles or responsibilities in their school or district.

Dr. Elizabeth Neale, Founder and CEO School Leaders Network says:

“The Met Life Survey of the American Teacher has ushered in very provocative research on the state of leadership and teaching in today's schools.

Clearly, there are sizable and critical challenges facing both school leaders and teachers. The nation must find a way to support these overstressed leaders and increasingly less satisfied teachers, especially in our high poverty areas. Across the nation, both teachers and principals leave their positions in the first five years at a rate close to 50%. Finding a way to increase a return on investment for the many fine programs beginning to offer extraordinary training is imperative.

It’s time to dispel the old perception that school principals have all the skills and capacity to be successful leaders right out of preparation programs. They need continuous, collaborative support and development to learn from others, and to develop the right kind of action plans with which they can actually follow through on, to reach greater student achievement.”

Our own Dr. John Jenkins, School Leaders Network Regional Director NYC, will participate in the Alliance for Excellent Education webinar presenting and discussing the findings on Monday, March 4 at 1 pm. For details and registration go to: http://media.all4ed.org/registration-mar-4-2013

The full report is available at www.metlife.com/teachersurvey