Job satisfaction and propensity to leave employment among teachers.
Teachers are being stretched to the limit. Expectations placed on them seem to be expanding exponentially. Their role encompasses not only teaching specific content and mentoring students in the love of learning, but functioning as frontline social workers. It is the task of the teacher as specialist to teach and to educate. The measure to which teachers experience fullfilment in their vocation in an accepted environment will, to a significant extent, determine their attitude and conduct. The principal cannot afford to disregard the expectations of the teachers, as there are too many benefits to be derived from a satisfied staff. It is the duty of the principal, therefore, to create a working environment conducive to education and teaching. This dissertation examines the job satisfaction and propensity to leave among level one educators in a Government school, viz. Apollo Secondary and an Ex-Model C school, viz. Queensburgh Girls' High. It has been undertaken to study the intrinsic and extrinsic factors in a working environment which influences the job satisfaction of teachers in order to determine how these factors may enable a teacher to fullfil his vocation effectively. It also explores the ability of extrinsic and intrinsic work rewards to predict the job satisfaction and organizational commitment of teachers. Work related rewards were studied in reference to their relative importance as determinants of work satisfaction. An analysis of the factors and· their influence on job satisfaction and propensity to leave reveals that there does exist some differences between educators in a Government school and in an Ex-Model C school. The results indicated that low salaries, poor working conditions, too large class sizes, too heavy workload-both in the classroom and beyond, lack of administrative support, resentment of central administration, pressures of limited time and resources, student discipline problems, lack of prestige, and limited input into school decisions have caused dissatisfaction in the teaching profession. Organizational climate is therefore, one of the integral factors that determine the quality of teaching in a school. Staff development programmes in which the developmental needs of teachers have been recognised, should be carefully structured so as to enable the teachers to render optimum service. Teachers experience job satisfaction when they are given responsibility in accordance with the demands of their profession. Career development also promotes job satisfaction as it prevents a teacher's career from stagnating since it provides continual learning. Other factors that motivate teachers include love and respect for co-workers and colleagues, support of and feeling appreciated by administrators, and love of the students and the joy of working with them. The hope is expressed that this research project will enable principals and administrators to manage their schools in such a way that teachers will be able to fullfil their tasks ably and effectively.