Germany: why wouldn’t teachers recommend their profession to others?

published 11 July 2016 updated 5 September 2016

They love their profession, but many Bavarian teachers would not recommend it to others, according to a survey on job satisfaction.

While a wide majority of teachers in Bavaria are very happy with their profession, more than half would not recommend it to others. A much-needed improvement is a more practical approach to teacher training and multi-professional teams. This is according to the study on satisfaction in the teaching profession conducted by the polling institute Forsa on behalf of unions Bayerische Lehrer- und Lehrerinnenverband(BLLV) and the Verband Bildung und Erziehung(VBE), both affiliates of Education International (EI), nationwide, with 1,001 teachers surveyed, including 158 in Bavaria.

Surveyed teachers in Bavaria have a very high motivation to work: 95 percent like or like very much to go to work. The main reasons for their feeling satisfied with their profession are the fun they find in working with children and young people (97 percent) and the joy in bringing young people new knowledge (99 percent). At the same time, 82 percent of respondents believe that the teaching profession carries with it a major responsibility.

Despite the joy of working and learning together with children and young people, just over half (59 percent) of the Bavarian teachers would not recommend their profession. Among named explanations: politicians making decisions about education do not take everyday school realities into account (81 percent) and extra-curricular tasks are not realistically calculated as working time (57 percent). They find it also stressful to teach highly heterogeneous classes alone (57 percent) and deem the size of classes too large (52 percent).

Teachers support multi-professional teams

Support is found necessary to keep the teachers’ motivation and job satisfaction high. Ninety percent of survey teachers want teacher education to be scientifically and practically linked tightly to school practice, and 79 percent believe it necessary for multi-professional teams to be involved in schools and education.

A sense of community and collaboration at school are also extremely important criteria for a high personal job satisfaction. Another reason for the high level of professional satisfaction and motivation is obviously the school climate, 91 percent of surveyed teachers cite the relationship and helpfulness among colleagues, 87 percent identifying an environment of mutual respect and integrity in the relationship with school management, and 75 percent appreciating the good relationship with the parents.