TDOE Releases Annual Educator Survey Revealing Growing Teacher Dissatisfaction

The Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) and Tennessee Education Research Alliance (TERA) released on Friday key findings and responses from the 2022 Tennessee Educator Survey (TES). Survey results reveal that in every category measured, teachers are more dissatisfied this year than last year.

In 2021, 91 percent of teachers reported being generally satisfied. In 2022, that number has declined to 87 percent.

The number of teachers planning to continue teaching in their current school next year declined from 82 percent in 2021 to 77 percent in 2022.

As part of its release, the TDOE provides an interactive webpage. Here, individual questions and teacher responses can be viewed. Hovering the cursor over each individual question reveals an increasing level of dissatisfaction in every category.


  • School leadership effectively handles student discipline and behavioral problems – 21 percent disagree, up 6 percent from last year.
  • Students treat adults with respect at this school – 21 percent disagree, up 9 percent from last year.
  • I am generally satisfied being a teacher in this school – 10 percent disagree, up 4 percent from last year.

Out of recognition of the importance of a teacher in a child’s education, the 2022 TES asked Tennessee administrators to reflect on staffing needs within their district, and evaluate whether they have a sufficiently large enough pool of quality applicants to draw from in filling teacher vacancies. While there were recognized difficulties across the board, It was particularly low for two subgroups.

Only 21 percent of rural school leaders who responded, and 20 percent of high school administrators who responded, reported having a sufficiently large pool of applicants to choose a qualified applicant for open teaching positions.

The data supports anecdotal evidence of a growing staffing shortage, something that the Tennessee Education Association (TEA) attributes to recent state-level policies. TEA President Tanya T. Coats told The Tennessee Star in an email, “The position of the Tennessee Education Association is that the teacher shortage school districts across the state are experiencing is the direct result of decisions made at the state level that have negatively impacted the profession. Teachers are not just randomly deciding to leave the profession, and the next generation has not just mysteriously lost interest in becoming teachers.”

This year more than 39,000 educators took the survey, down from over 40,000 who took it in 2021. Of those teachers responding, few came from the state’s large urban districts of Knox, Hamilton, Nashville, and Memphis, who reported participation rates of 32 percent, 45 percent, 30 percent, and 26 percent respectively.

Those numbers were noted by Professional Educators of Tennessee (PET) Executive Director JC Bowman, who wrote in an email exchange with The Star, “It is interesting data, that deserves a deeper dive with more input on the design process. It appears that urban districts did not participate, which could change the findings.”

“Our experience with the survey is that it is generally too long,” Bowman adds, “More importantly, the data gets released and there is no follow-up. Will it change policymaker opinions? Probably not. Does it serve to inform stakeholders and the public? Not very likely.”

The report released last week was from TDOE. TERA will start putting out its own take on the survey later this week.

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TC Weber is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. He also writes the blog Dad Gone Wild. Follow TC on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected] He’s the proud parent of two public school children and the spouse of a public school teacher.
Photo “Teacher” by Pixabay.


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3 Thoughts to “TDOE Releases Annual Educator Survey Revealing Growing Teacher Dissatisfaction”

  1. Randy

    Here, once again, another boondoggle funded by taxpayers to justify more funding for a system that continues to expand with nothing to show for it. It’s not the teachers fault, though they could certainly help fix it rather than taking their ball and going home. The Administrators and Legislators bare the bulk of the problems with this money pit. We the people also play a role. Our expectations always fall short when we fail to inspect.

  2. Teddy

    Not to mention that the public is more disatisified with what the teachers are teaching…

  3. Joe Blow

    I am highly dissatisfied with Tennessee public education – period!