Lifestyles of Montana high school teachers
Lucier, Todd J.
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The major purpose of this paper was to determine the lifestyle led by Montana high school teachers and whether or not they were satisfied with their current lifestyles. To collect the data for the study, a questionnaire was sent to each of Montana's 171 public high schools. Each questionnaire was addressed to the school secretary. A letter to the secretary asked him or her to randomly select a teacher from the high school staff to complete the survey. Of the 171 questionnaires sent, 139 were returned for a 81 percent response rate. The findings of the study showed that 78.4 percent of the teachers surveyed were satisfied with their current lifestyle. The job they held was the reason 57 percent of the respondents felt satisfied. Their family was the reason for satisfaction of 36 percent of the responding teachers. Teaching is a demanding job that requires long hours and numerous tasks. Teachers spend time every day preparing for their classes outside of school hours, and most teachers have some type of extracurricular responsibilities that keep them working well past the end of the normal school day. Teachers in Montana must also make adjustments for small town life. Many jobs are in rural areas of the state, where social and recreational opportunities are often extremely limited, and the amenities of a larger city may be many miles away. Often the only recreational opportunities revolve around outdoor sports, such as hunting or fishing. Based on the findings of the study, the writer recommends that college teacher education programs do a better, more thorough job of making future teachers aware of the role a teacher in a Montana high school plays. This should include discussions and preparation on extra-curricular duties, exposure to life in rural Montana, the pay scales of Montana schools, and the pressures and influences that small communities often exert on their teachers.