Students who ho believed that their schools are "committed to building students' strengths" and who "have a teacher who makes them excited about the future" are almost "30 times as likely to be engaged learners as their peers who strongly disagree with both statements," according to Gallup's recently-released The State of America's Schools: The Path to Winning Again in Education.
The poll also showed that only about one-half of students felt that they were allowed to do what they are best at during the school day; while 7 in 10 K-12 students, said that they felt that their teachers were fully engaged in their classroom work. The 600,000 students, teachers and administrators who participated in the Gallup Student Poll section of the survey provided the following information:
- Only 33% scored highly in the areas of hope engagement and well-being as related to general life success
- Within the first five years of their careers, 40-50% of teachers leave the profession, citing a lack of autonomy
- Most teachers agree that they get to do what they do best during a day of teaching
- Teachers are last among 12 professional groups in thinking that their opinions count at work.
- 29% of Americans believe that high school students are ready for college upon graduation.
- 17% say high school graduates are prepared to join the workforce.
- 37% of school superintendents strongly agree that their districts are well-governed by their school boards.
- Those students who had the opportunity to develop real-world, problem-solving skills are twice as likely as the students who didn't to report higher-quality work lives
"If we're not thinking every day – as a principal, a teacher, a parent – about how we make our kids excited about the future, and connect what they're learning to the future, we're blowing it," Brandon Busteed, executive director of Gallup Education says. "If you care about student engagement, you have to care about teacher engagement and great principals."
Through developing students' strengths and promoting individualization, teachers can engage students in the learning process and build hope for the future. With increased student engagement comes deepened involvement and increased positive emotions — encouraging enhanced overall student well-being and a higher quality of life.