Commitment represents an essential component in the field of organizational behavior and human resources. Employees need to remain dedicated to their job to be able to show positive performance, which will help to improve a company’s result in a long-term perspective.
Schools are no exception as managers have to work hard to ensure a high level of teachers’ commitment to their job. In urban districts, this task becomes vital as they experience significant pressure from government officials to demonstrate growing performance and better achievements.
To discuss the problem of commitment in schools, it is vital to define the notion and identify its correlation to the educational system.
Fox (1964), a renowned scholar in the field of Education and Management, in the academic work entitled “The Committed Teacher” stated that any person, who lives in accordance with his/her philosophy, can be called committed (Fox, 1964). An individual is not obliged to follow a particular movement or choose the best theory in the field.
It is possible to come up with their own ideas and concepts, which would contribute to the development of the industry. If to view the term from a professional point of view, a committed employee is the one whose behavior is consistent with his/her philosophy and regulations.
Consequently, a dedicated teacher, who believes in students’ success, motivated them to reach the desired result. Motivation is in high demand in the classrooms nowadays, due to two significant challenges students face: lack of attention provoked mainly by our dependency on gadgets of any kind and an overwhelming amount of assignments. Too many tasks show the inability of the current education system to balance quantity and quality in the syllabus.
It is proved by the increasing amount of students looking for someone to “write my capstone project” online, ready to pay for a capstone paper or other assignment. It is not difficult to find a reliable service that will prepare a needed document for you on time. However, such situational help is not a remedy for the whole system.
Albeit the importance of commitment in educational institutions is widely discussed in scientific circles, managers lack an efficient mechanism to develop it among the staff. For instance, Henkin and Holliman (2009) in their article entitled “Exploring Associations with Organizational Conflict, Support for Innovation, and Participation” claim that approximately one-third of young teachers leave their position in the first five years of their professional life.
Similar results have been presented by the National Center for Education Center, which revealed that nearly 50% of current high-school teachers and 42% of middle school teachers do not expect to be teaching by the year 2010 (Henkin & Holliman, 2009). It means that young employees tend to show a lower level of commitment compared to their experienced counterparts. Individuals, who have worked 5-10 years in the educational sphere, have enough knowledge and skills to facilitate change and implement them in class.
The studies have also shown that the level of skills and knowledge also affect teach commitment in urban schools. Research has revealed that qualified educators tend to be more dedicated to their job. They try hard to encourage better performance and provide their student with recent knowledge of their field.
When teachers see the result of their work, they are more inspired to proceed and show better achievements. On the contrary, when employees lack knowledge of their subject, they lack enough methods and skills to contribute to class success.
Furthermore, gender played a vital role in terms of employee involvement in the educational field.
The National Center for Education Statistics revealed that 75% of teachers are female, which means that women are more prone to work as teachers compared to males (Davis, 2010). School authorities might need to introduce an upgraded program that will focus on male motivation and their dedication to the job.
2. What is the relationship between teacher organizational commitment and teacher retention in an urban district?
A variety of factors might affect employee motivation and retention rate in different organizations. Davis (2010) in work “From Urban Students to Urban Educators” paid attention to demographic aspects of workers’ dedication.
The scholar conducted a survey to reveal the reasons why teachers return to urban middle schools when they have other employment opportunities. A questionnaire was distributed to workers from diverse backgrounds (Davis, 2010). The results helped the author to shortlist six main factors that profoundly affect teachers’ retention rate: caring, motivation, mentors, opportunities, relationship, and commitment.
These factors significantly contribute to the distribution of diverse backgrounds.
It especially concerns the field of education since these factors define the process as such: involvement in the working process directly depends on the level of those factors. Consequently, lower indicators tend to cause a lower level of involvement, which has a direct impact of the efficiency of work and motivation of a person and his/her social background. In general, the system of relations is rather complex and required more detailed specifications.
The majority of workers stay in an organization when they are involved in the process and care about the result of their work. This fact highlights the need to empower educators and provide them with more opportunities to execute changes in the institution. They should be able to come up with an idea and see how they are implemented at work.
It might motivate an employee to carry on and stay in one organization for a long time. Apart from that, mentors and career opportunities do matter, especially, for young people. When students graduate from university, they search for a job, which will enable them to develop professionally. It is essential to provide workers with the necessary resources, which will allow them to enhance their skills and gain new knowledge.
Staff morale and employee-manager relationships were also recognized as vital components of a well-developed retention program. A positive atmosphere in the office will help to establish a favorable environment for the worker’s growth and development.
Organizational authorities are advised to create a career plan for every worker. Managers should arrange a meeting with their subordinates to discuss their plans and suggestions. It will help to understand employees’ motivating factors and take them into account while developing a company’s retention strategy.
3. What is the relationship between teacher organizational commitment and indigenous teachers (teachers who were also students in the school district) in an urban school district?
Indigenous teachers are those who believe they were born to educate children and provide them with essential knowledge and skills for their personal and professional development.
Currently, experts discuss the notion of “indigenous education” in society disputing on the role of these employees in the educational system. Some scholars believe that the path to mastery starts with respect and commitment. An employee needs to be dedicated to his/her job to be able to become a real professional and progress in his/her career. Committed workers are prone to demonstrate better results and motivate their learners to carry on.
However, another group of scientists suggests that indigenous teachers are more committed due to their background and origin. They grew up with their classmates in one district experiencing all the challenges and difficulties of the modern educational system.
They used to be inside the system, so they can better understand their students and provide them with sufficient support when necessary. Davis (2010) investigate the reason for teachers to return to their school. The scholar claims that most of them do care about an educational institution and its success on the state and federal levels (Davis, 2010). Moreover, they have a strong motivation to change their school for better with the help of new reforms and policies.
Davis, N. (2010). From Urban Student to Urban Educator. University of Alabama in Birmingham.
Fox, R. (1964). The Committed Teacher. Educational Leadership, 111.
Henkin, A., & Holliman, S. (2009). Urban Teacher Commitment. Urban Education, 44(2), 160-180. doi: 10.1177/0042085907312548