In the Journal of Technology Education there is an article by Luke J. Steinke and Alvin R. Putnam titled, “Why Should I Stay? Factors Influencing Technology Education Teachers to Stay in Teaching Positions”. The date of publications is Fall 2007.
The article discusses the problem of retaining technology education teachers in the teaching profession. Research shows that 14% of teachers leave after 1 year and 46% leave after their fifth year. Steinke study research almost 500 teachers and administrators in the technology education field. They preformed there study thru email as two parts. The first part was demographics and background information. The second part was a list of 28 factors that would influence a teacher to either leave of stay in education. The participates were asked to number each factor by 1thru 5 based on how influential it was; 1 being not influential to 5 being highly influential. The study found that teacher’s top 4 influential factors were; “provision of yearly raises for all teachers, the school had resources available for professional development, the school had a collaborative work environment, and having the teacher teaching the subject they prefer” On contrary, the 4 lease influential were; “providing raises above the district average for technology education teachers, paying off the teacher’s student loan, promoting technology education teachers based on performance and paying technology education teachers above the district average.”
Based on Steinke’s findings he concluded that technology education teachers are not looking to get paid more than other teachers but to get raises adequately. Also he found it appealing that teachers are looking for collaboration not student loans paid off. Unfortunately, programs are in placed to give retention bonus and student loans to get paid off. Therefore Steinke suggest that programs such as induction and mentoring and support collaborating environments need to be used. Steinke also suggestion schools must follow Standards for Technological Literacy and provide resources teacher need. Lastly Steinke recognized the importance of salary but also found in his study that teachers are looking for comparative raises not special treatment.
I found this article to be extremely interesting because I had no idea there was a shortage in technology education teachers. I’m equally surprised by the lack of administrative support and peer issues that currently affect teacher retention. However I am not surprised that theirs a lack of funding for resources for these classes. This article is bittersweet for me because it shows that there is a lot of turnover in teaching positions also meaning availability to for jobs after school but alarming to hear all the issues that make becoming a teacher so difficult.