By Paul Nelson
SALT LAKE CITY -- A recent survey from Public Agenda and Learning Point Associates reveals two out of every five teachers across the country are disappointed with their jobs.
Without citing surveys that specifically show how teachers feel in Utah, some educators say they'd expect teachers here to be at least as disappointed with their job, if not slightly more so.
"We have the largest class sizes in the country. We're the lowest paid in the country," says Granite Education Association Executive Director Star Orullian.
Orullian says recent budget cuts have removed some of the tools they need to do their job. It's also harder to find money to print out assignments. Many teachers worry something else could be taken away.
"Right now, there's a lot of legislation and a lot of talk about legislation about doing away with their retirement benefits," Orullian says.
There are other factors leading to this disappointment. Orullian says recent regulation changes have teachers feeling like they're not specifically teaching to the individual student, but they're teaching to address the tests that are required.
Orullian says, "Their autonomy to be able to teach is no longer there. Everything is canned. Everything is pre-scripted. Everything is mandated."
She says there are too many unsung heroes who are doing great work that is mostly going unnoticed.
"They're tired and they're worn out, and all they ever do is face the constant attack and barrage of, ‘public education isn't ponying up,'" says Orullian.
Orullian says very few teachers she knows "hate" teaching. If they do, she says they can work with that person to help them find employment in another field.