Report: Educator Optimism at Highest Level Since 2015

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) today announced the results of its fourth annual Educator Confidence Report, a survey of more than 1,200 K-12 teachers and school and district administrators, which investigates key issues impacting today’s educators. The survey, created in collaboration with market research and data analytics firm YouGov, explores educator sentiment toward the teaching profession, covering a broad range of topical and emotional drivers such as use of educational technology in the classroom, equity, school safety, funding and more.

Educators reported an upward trend in overall sentiment (53 percent of educators are optimistic about the profession, up 25 percent since our inaugural survey in 2015), citing positive feelings about the following bright spots in their practice: teacher collaboration around student learning (55 percent), a shift in standards toward critical thinking (46 percent) and using data to inform teaching and differentiation (45 percent).

Additional key findings from the fourth annual Educator Confidence Report include:

  • 96 percent of educators report they have seen the benefits of using ed tech in the classroom, citing improved student engagement as the number one benefit (63 percent). 
  • A solid majority of educators (69 percent) said teacher salaries are a main concern, followed by lack of funding at 60 percent. 
  • Ninety-four percent of educators believe that a meaningful connection between teacher and student is the most important aspect of learning. Fifty-three percent, however, worry that today’s growing emphasis on using technology for learning may be coming at the expense of that critical personal relationship. 
  • If potential time-savings from ed tech were fully realized, 76 percent of teachers would use that extra time to work more closely with students who need intervention. Fifty-seven percent of teachers would work individually with students, and 52 percent would provide enrichment opportunities. 
  • Eighty percent of teachers believe that technology has empowered them to strengthen their teaching practice.  
  • Despite having less access to technology overall, teachers in high-poverty schools are more likely to report experiencing improved student achievement from ed tech (41 percent vs. 22 percent of teachers in low-poverty schools). 

To download and read the full report,  visit: https://www.hmhco.com/educator-confidence-report 

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