Want to know how your peers in education are feeling about the state of teaching and learning in 2017? The findings are in on the Third Annual Educator Confidence Report, conducted by HMH in conjunction with the educational research firm MDR, and in general confidence levels are up. The survey of 1,217 educators spanned all 50 states and represented K–12 educators from across disciplines and ranges of experience. Of the teachers surveyed (79% of respondents were teachers and 21% administrators) 33% had one to 10 years of experience, 35% had between 11 and 20 years, and 32% had more than 20 years in the profession.
Topics explored in the survey include educator sentiment, digital readiness, community and family engagement, and the overall state of the teaching profession. Here are some of the key findings:
General Confidence Levels
- More than half of the educators surveyed (53%) reported positive feelings about the state of the teaching profession, an increase of 11 percentage points from 2016.
- Similarly, concern about teacher accountability requirements continues to decrease (dropping to 44% his year from 50% in 2016).
- 49% of educators expressed a need for more time to collaborate with their colleagues.
Preparedness for Digital Instruction
- 98% of educators reported using digital resources to collaborate with one another, instruct and interact with students, and reach out to families.
- Overall, educator confidence in using digital technology rose 7 percentage points over last year (from 58% to 65%). Of those with 11 or more years of experience, 62% reported using technology (compared with 43% of teachers with 10 or fewer years of experience).
- Conversely, 76% of the teachers with 10 years of experience or less expressed that they were more confident using digital resources effectively in the classroom (compared with only 59% of teachers with 20+ years in the classroom, who reported the need for more support and training).
- Teachers would like to receive more edtech implementation support and training and specified these top three learning modes:
- Example Lesson Plans
- Online Tutorials
- Classroom Coaching
Professional Learning Preferences
- Showing a strong commitment to and need for professional learning, 86% of educators polled this year reported spending their own money on training. Lack of funding continues to be a major concern among educators (58% in 2017).
- Nearly half of teachers surveyed (48%) cited job-embedded coaching as one of the best ways to learn effective use of technology in the classroom.
- 60% of teachers with more than 20 years of experience presented the strongest need for tech-focused professional learning focused and the same percentage expressed concern over lack of planning time for integrating digital learning into lesson plans.
Family and Parental Engagement
- 55% of all teachers reported a need for more family engagement, compared to 39% of school administrators and 41% of district administrators.
- The same number cited using some form of digital communication to reach parents and families, and 25% of educators use social media to engage with families outside of school.
- Social media does not replace other forms of outreach, so it is important to get feedback from families to determine which platforms are preferred in your community.
Innovations in Teaching and Learning
- One-third of educators surveyed showed optimism about the power of technology and its ability to support advances in teaching and learning.
- The most-cited innovation predicted by teachers is truly personalized learning, in which instructional technologies and student data blend seamlessly to support success and personal learning goals for every student.
How does your school or district’s confidence level measure up to these findings? What are you doing to prepare for the next innovations in digital learning?