Public School Teachers' Perceptions of Administrative Support and its Mediating Effect on Their Job Satisfaction and Intent to Stay in Teaching
Due to a high rate of teacher attrition currently being experienced in public schools, a teacher shortage may be looming in the near future. Research shows that attrition rates are highest among novice teachers. In part, teacher attrition has also made it increasingly difficult for schools to meet the "highly qualified" requirement of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Past efforts to reverse this trend have concentrated on increasing the supply of qualified teachers; however, more recent studies have shown that the solution lies partially in raising retention rates. Research has identified several reasons teachers have left the profession, such as, low salary, student misbehavior and working conditions, including administrative support. Another common thread among teachers who leave the profession has been dissatisfaction with working conditions in their school.
This study examined the relationship between teachers' intent to stay in teaching, teachers' job satisfaction, perceived administrative support, teaching experience, perceived student behavior, and teachers' satisfaction with their salaries. After the conduct of a preliminary descriptive analysis, a hypothesized path model was employed through the use of four different samples derived from the 2003-04 Schools and Staffing Survey, Public School Teacher Questionnaire (Form SASS-4A). The first sample was the combined environmental setting. The second, third, and fourth sub-samples were urban, urban fringe, and rural samples, respectively, as identified by the respondent.
Based on the path analysis, perceived administrative support, teaching experience, perceived student behavior, and teachers' satisfaction with their salary were identified as significant predictors of teachers' job satisfaction and intent to stay in teaching. Administrative support was the most significant predictor of teachers' job satisfaction, while teachers' job satisfaction was the most significant predictor of teachers' intent to stay in teaching. The path analysis also confirmed that perceived administrative support mediates the effect of teaching experience, perceived student behavior, and teachers' satisfaction with their salary relative to both teachers' job satisfaction and intent to stay in teaching. No significant differences were found among the sample and their sub-samples based on the environmental setting of the school.