Survey Looks at Teacher Confidence and Challenges in the Classroom

Gathering educator viewpoints on the state of the U.S. classroom, the inaugural Houghton Mifflin Harcourt™ Confidence Report found that many teachers see the growth of edtech as a reason to be optimistic about the future of the classroom. The survey, which was conducted by MDR on behalf of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), shows that 60% of respondents find edtech improved student engagement, and 55% liked the ability for students to access instructional content anytime and anywhere. However, due to stresses such as budgets, accountability, and assessment, less than half (41%) of educators feel positive about the state of the teaching profession today.

“This data shows that the environment for educators is visibly challenging, with new standards and technology driving both anxiety and optimism. It is our job to help teachers grappling with these changes; we need to create digital solutions that are designed with simplicity and engagement in mind. That, together with effective technology training and meaningful opportunities to collaborate, can help reduce anxiety and support teachers’ confidence as a whole,” said Mary Cullinane, HMH Chief Content Officer, in a press release.

Additional Highlights

  • 48% of educators are excited about collaborating with colleagues to develop effective instruction for students.
  • 58% expressed concern about risks associated with collection and use of student data.
  • 60% said one of their top needs is more parent engagement; 52% said they need more classroom time to cover necessary curriculum; and both the need for technological devices and for more funding for classroom materials were noted by 46% of the respondents.
  • 35% said they are likely to leave teaching in the next five years.

Finally, the respondents also revealed how much they continue to fund their own classroom and professional development needs. Nearly half reported spending up to $250 per year on professional development tools, 83% said they have used their own funds for school supplies (such as paper, pens and notebooks), 64% have provided food and snacks for students, and many have purchased their own instructional materials (46%) and supplemental digital content (37%).

Read the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt™ Confidence Report from HMH.

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