Teacher Appreciation: Admired Yet Under-Appreciated

A private foundation’s new survey on public regard for teachers in America shows that teachers are held in high esteem indeed, notwithstanding what you might suppose when you see all the teacher-bashing stories carried in the mass media. We spotted a report on this new national survey by our friends at the AFL-CIO and decided it deserved your notice.

The survey by the ING Foundation showed that, next to immediate family, teachers have the most impact on people’s lives as they grow up. The survey found 88 percent of Americans said they had a teacher who had a “significant positive impact” on their life, and 98 percent said they believe that a good teacher can change the course of a student’s life.

The AFL-CIO suggests that “those attacking teachers should take a look at the ING poll: Fully 83 percent of those surveyed said they had a teacher who helped build their confidence and self-esteem, while 79 percent say they had a teacher who encouraged them to pursue their dreams. Another 75 percent said a teacher served as a mentor or role model, and 54 percent said that a teacher helped them through a tough time.”

Among other findings:

  • Some 87 percent of Americans wish they had told their best teachers how much they appreciated their efforts.
  • Teachers are perceived as receiving less gratitude than social workers, nurses, clergy or doctors.
  • A whopping 94 percent of Americans agree that we need to do more to recognize our good teachers.

“It’s an unbelievable testament to the profession that Americans so resoundingly believe in a teacher’s ability to transform lives,” said Rhonda Mims, president of the ING Foundation.

The survey was conducted in conjunction with the annual National Teacher of the Year competition. To learn more, click here:  http://ing.us/about-ing/newsroom/press-releases/lesson-learned-ing-survey-finds-teachers-have-profound-and-lasting.