Introducing Our 4th Annual Educator Confidence Report

What matters most in a student’s education—and is most likely to impact student success? You’ll receive an answer to that question and many others with the 4th Annual Educator Confidence Report. I’m pleased to announce the results of the survey of more than 1,200 participants, representing a diverse national sample of educators, conducted by HMH in collaboration with YouGov, a global public opinion and data company.

The good news is that optimism about the state of the teaching profession passed the halfway mark for the first time in four years (see graph below) and is up 25 percent since 2015. The bad news: Negative sentiment persists at over 40 percent.

I think it’s a sign of the times that safety and salaries topped the list of teachers’ concerns, contributing to those negative findings in 2018. 

Areas of Optimism and Concern Around Technology 

Harnessing technology is key to improving academic outcomes for all students. I share the growing optimism around  emerging educational technology for several reasons revealed in the study:

  • Ninety-six percent of educators report having seen benefits from using educational technology, with 63 percent of educators stating that improved student engagement is one of the technology’s biggest benefits.
  • Eighty percent of teachers believe that technology has empowered them to strengthen their practice.

I also appreciate teachers’ concerns in 2018.

  • Fifty-seven percent of educators told us that a lack of time to plan and integrate digital resources is a barrier to more effective usage.
  • Further, the study looked at equity more deeply compared with studies from previous years, and we found that educators in high-poverty schools are not able to recognize the benefits of technology to the extent that their peers in low-poverty schools do. However, on the plus side, educators in high-poverty schools are seeing benefits in improved student achievement and early identification of learning gaps.

While the Educator Confidence Report provides a realistic view of where we are now, it also offers direction on where we could be—and where we should be headed. The reason we sponsor this research is to offer educators a platform to give voice to what has to happen in order to improve student outcomes and opportunities. If the time, access, and need for more professional development issues raised in the survey were addressed, students would be the beneficiaries.

Here’s what teachers would do if they had more time:

And back to the big question about what matters most: 94 percent of educators agree that a meaningful connection between teacher and student is the most important part of the learning landscape.

This is a good time to reflect on our professional and personal connections and reimagine education through the lens of building positive relationships with our students and each other. You can view the full report here.

Let us know if you agree with the report and see what your peers are saying on Facebook and Twitter.