ASCD Teaser: School Culture

I am very excited and honored to share my work, thoughts, and research on the Influence of School Culture on the Job Satisfaction of Novice Teachers at ASCD in one week. EMPOWER18 has so many ways for educators to make connections and own their own learning. I will be part of the learning tables/poster sessions where educators share their work to support others in growing as leaders or learners.

I wanted to share a brief snippet of what you can expect at my learning table to start to frame my poster visuals and supporting documents. Hope you enjoy enough to visit or take this learning and put it into your own leadership. Below is the location and quick update of the content.

Location of Sessions:

  • Exhibit Hall B in the BCEC

Participation at Sessions:

  • Saturday, March 24, 2018, 4:30–5:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 25, 2018, 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

In addition to being at the learning tables I will be @MASCD’s Social Media Ambassador. My goal and motivation is to ensure my learning doesn’t slow down and to Tweet a wide variety of topics and content to share and be an active learner. I am so excited to have this opportunity. Click here to read my pre ASCD blog about excitement and how to maximize your time at the event.

Influence of School Culture on the Job Satisfaction of Novice Teachers

School districts across the nation have had difficulty retaining novice teachers. This is partially due to the novice teacher’s lack of adequate preparation and minimal administrative support (Yost, 2006). Additionally, pay scale, lack of student motivation, increasing class size, lack of professional development opportunities, and a shortage of individual and common planning time influence teacher attrition and decreased job satisfaction (Curran & Goldrick, 2002). Novice teachers, with limited instructional practice, are asked to promote rigorous classroom instruction and ensure the academic success of all students (Feiman-Nemser, 2001; Hargreaves & Shirley, 2009).

Traditional teacher education programs within higher education institutions focus largely on the development of educational philosophy and acquisition of content knowledge with less focus given to collaborative educational culture (Coggshall, Bivona, & Reschly, 2012; Scherer, 1999). Moreover, novice teachers become consumed with learning new curriculum and building/district mandates at the expense of collaboration with colleagues (Curran & Goldrick, 2002). Furthermore, novice teachers enter into a profession in which they may feel isolated or unprepared to cope with their new role because of demands of the job, meeting new students, and developing relationships with families (Feiman-Nemser, 2003).

Current literature indicates a healthy school culture can influence the experience of classroom teachers (Angelle, 2006; Blase & Blase, 1999; Darling-Hammond & Bransford, 2005; Deal & Peterson, 1999; DuFour, 2002; DuFour, 2003; DuFour, 2004). However, research has not fully explored the influence school culture can have on the job satisfaction of a novice teacher. This learning table will share findings about the influence school culture has on the job satisfaction of a novice teacher. The findings will help to support school administrators recognize leadership aspects to improve novice teacher job satisfaction.

Novice teachers present school leadership with a unique challenge, often due to a lack or absence of practical hands-on experiences and limited instructional repertoires (Roberson & Roberson, 2009). Deal and Peterson (1999) suggest that the lack of satisfaction that some novice teachers feel is attributed to the lack of support from school leadership. In light of the struggles of novice teachers and school leaders’ desire to retain teachers, this individual study explored how school culture influences novice teacher job satisfaction.

The term school culture describes the environment that affects the behavior of teachers, school leaders, and students (Darling-Hammond & Bransford, 2005; Deal & Peterson, 1999). Darling-Hammond and Sclan (1996) define shared beliefs in a school culture as the values, visions, norms, individual beliefs, and the everyday experiences of the school community members. A presence of professional learning communities and collaborative instructional and collegial practices (i.e., grade level team meetings, common teacher planning time, data meetings) are evident in a collaborative school culture. Therefore, in this study, school mission and vision beliefs and collaborative practice were examined as two components of school culture.

School leaders have a significant role in creating, promoting, and supporting a school culture; however, little has been studied about how school culture enhances novice teacher job satisfaction (Angelle, 2006; Blase & Blase, 1999; Deal & Peterson, 1999). Dinham and Scott, (1997) and Stockard and Lehman (2004) state that novice teachers identified collegial collaborative support as one of the most important influences on job satisfaction; thus it is valuable to understand if leaders understand the needs of novice teachers to influence the construction and maintenance of a collaborative school culture.

My Boston College study was guided by two research questions:

  1. What aspects of school culture do novice teachers identify as contributing to their job satisfaction?
  2. What strategies do school leaders utilize to create a supportive school culture for novice teachers?

Come to the learning tables to find out more and leave with ideas to support your support of novice teachers.  See you in Boston!


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