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Factors related to the choice of secondary teaching as a career Public Deposited

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  • This study of Oregon secondary school teachers was designed to find why individuals had chosen this particular career, what they think of their positions, what time of their lives they chose teaching as a career, and what their career plans are for the future. The respondents were full-time Oregon secondary school teachers with one, two, and three years of experience. Influencing Factors: Teachers were the most influential external factor in influencing career decisions of future teachers. Thirty-seven percent of the respondents indicated that teachers at all levels influenced their decisions. Internal or personal interest factors were more frequently specified than were external factors. Over 50 percent of the respondents indicated their desire to work with the secondary-age groups and their interest in subject matter as the most influential internal factors. As a career for their children, 70 percent of the fathers and 82 percent of the mothers were favorably inclined toward a career In teaching. Parents were, however, more in favor of teaching as a career for their daughters than for their sons. Time of Career Choice: Thirty-eight percent indicated they considered secondary teaching as a career prior to college, whereas 48 percent selected teaching during their college years. By the time they had received their bachelors' degrees, only ten percent of the respondents had a career goal other than teaching. Sixty-three percent reported that teaching was their first occupational choice. The most frequently-mentioned occupations other than teaching are the following: business, engineering, fine arts, medicine, and secretarial work. Future Plans: Seventy-six percent of the teachers are planning to receive their masters' degrees, and another 19 percent plan to work for their doctorates. Thirty-six percent of the teachers plan to continue classroom teaching until retirement, but 44 percent would like to have another assignment in the field of education. The 44 percent who indicated they would like another assignment listed their preferences in the following areas: college teaching, 15 percent; counseling, 13 percent; department chairmanships, 3 percent. Administration, special education, curriculum work, library work, psychology, and social work make up the remaining percentage. More than one out of five teachers indicated they will leave teaching within the next five years. About two out of every five think they may leave teaching in the next five years. Reasons for leaving: The main reason why teachers may leave the profession is inadequate salaries. Sixteen percent of the women will leave teaching at this time to devote more time to family obligations. Other reasons for leaving are as follows: too much time required for preparation, good business opportunities, further study, an interest in college teaching, lack of time for preparation, certification requirements, poor administration, long hours, extra class activities, and disrespect from parents. Satisfactions: Major satisfactions with teaching centered around the nature of work--working with secondary youth, helping students to learn, and having a sense of social usefulness. Recommendations: The recommendations listed by teachers for the recruitment and retention of qualified teachers were as follows: improve professional image, raise teacher standards, improve community respect for education, improve quality of instruction at schools of education, recruit more competent people for the teaching profession, and have fewer certification hurdles. Other recommendations listed are as follows: fewer number of activities, more competent administrators, lighter class loads, better coordination with state department and schools of education, need for year-round employment for teachers, need for scholarships for graduate study, better supervision from teacher-training teachers, and the need for better attitudes from students and parents. Other Information: Other information from this study includes the following: personal factors, professional training, financial assistance, teacher preparation and assignments, academic majors, first occupational choice of life goals, and teacher-community relations. Comparisons: Comparisons are made between the teachers with one, two, and three years of experience of all the factors listed previously. The summary also includes the typical one-year, two-year, and three-year teachers.
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