Gianluca Argentin

Bending but not breaking. The Covid-19 pandemic and teacher job satisfaction

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: teachers, job satisfaction, Covid-19, school distance learning

Teacher satisfaction is crucial for the correct functioning of education systems and for student achievement. The quick and unexpected rise of the Covid-19 pandemic forced school systems to shift to distance learning, causing dramatic changes in teachers’ daily routine and the nature of their role, potentially undermining their wellbeing. These challenges seem to have been particulary hard in the Italian school system due to its features, the socio-demographic of the teaching force, and the early, strong impact of the pandemic in the country. Analysing data from the ISTAT labour force survey, and comparing teachers with other occupation groups over time, we are able to assess the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on teacher job satisfaction. We detect an overall decrease in job satisfaction, concentrated in the second quarter of 2020 when the crisis struck, mainly due to a higher workload and less satisfying work relationships within schools. Nonetheless, the reduction in job satisfaction is limited in size and duration, showing that teachers bend but do not break, despite the many acute changes which have occurred in education. Results suggest a valuable resilience among these professionals. The availability of this crucial resource should be kept in mind in the future, in order to reinvent education through reform processes.

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