Career satisfaction among Jamaican high school teachers

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This study sought to explore the relationships existing between high school teachers' career satisfaction and selected independent variables. Data were collected through a questionnaire administered to a random sample of 400 high school teachers from urban and rural areas of Jamaica. The results indicated a general feeling of dissatisfaction and frustration within the sample, with 57 percent of the teachers reporting dissatisfaction with their careers and almost 42 percent planning to give up teaching within the next two years. There was a high level of perceived occupational stress related to student misbehaviour, poor working conditions, time pressures, and school organization. Perceived occupational stress in one area was generally associated with perceived stress in all areas. High stress levels were linked with low career satisfaction. Male teachers tended to be more satisfied with their jobs and perceived less occupational stress than females. There was little association between perceived occupational stress and biographical characteristics of teacher age, marital status, and education, or the demographic variables of school location and sex of population. The best predictor of career satisfaction was low levels of stress perceived as a result of poor working conditions. Differences in perceived occupational stress correlate, to a significant extent, with locus of control, with the "internal" teachers showing a tendency to perceive less occupational stress and to be more satisfied with teaching than the "externals"


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