Canadian Teachers and their Profession:
Why are some Satisfied and
Pierre Canisius Kamanzi*, Maurice Tardif and Claude Lessard
Associate professor, University of Montreal, Canada
Submission: May 06, 2021; Published: June 28, 2021
*Corresponding author: Pierre Canisius Kamanzi, Associate professor, University of Montreal, Canada
How to cite this article: Kamanzi PC, Tardif M, Lessard C. Canadian Teachers and their Profession: Why are some Satisfied and Others Dissatisfied?. Ann Soc Sci Manage Stud. 2021; 6(4): 555695. DOI: 10.19080/ASM.2021.06.555695
This study aims to examine factors related to professional satisfaction of Canadian teachers. Based on the classical theories of the sociology of work and empirical research, we have distinguished extrinsic and intrinsic factors in the profession. The results from a national survey (N = 4,210) show that the majority of respondents are satisfied with their job, but that the level of this satisfaction is variable. Multivariate analyses reveal that job satisfaction is influenced both by intrinsic and extrinsic factors to the trade, but the former to have a relatively more important influence than the latter. Specifically, satisfaction is higher among teachers with the feeling of having rewarding relationships with students. Analyses separated by provinces indicate similarities and some differences between provinces education systems.
Keywords: Teacher; Professional satisfaction; Intrinsic factors; Extrinsic factors
Teacher retention became a problem that many school systems around the world must face. For example, in France nearly 30% of teachers say they intend to leave their profession, this sentiment being more pervasive among those under 30 . Studies conducted in Canada in the early 2010s reveal a similar situation. As such, a study conducted by Letourneau  in the province of Quebec showed that, although it fluctuated between cohorts, from 1992 to 2011 the average job abandonment rate ranged from 25% to 30% after the first year, and from 40% to 50% after five years. The situation was more or less similar in Alberta, where the rate is about 40% among young teachers in the first five years of their . According to the results of a cross-Canada survey conducted over a decade ago, an increasing number of teachers seem reluctant to pursue their careers: 24% of teachers surveyed said they often or very often thought of abandoning their profession . However, this proportion varies from province to province: 30% in British Columbia, 26% in Quebec and the Prairies (Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan), 22% in Ontario and 15% in the Maritimes (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island).
The factors behind this phenomenon are many, and vary from one socio-educational context to another. However, a large body of documentation highlights, in particular, the increase in professional dissatisfaction experienced by teachers with regard to their work [5-7]. The desire to quit is the product of a sum of negative frustrations and perceptions about the various aspects of the profession, that over time, generate a negative relationship to work. Dissatisfaction is also associated with professional burnout . In recent decades, this has become more pronounced as a result of more intense accountability systems to which teachers in various education systems are increasingly subjected [1,10]. This rise in dissatisfaction among teachers deserves further study and reflection in order to identify its causes, especially since teachers who are dissatisfied with their profession are generally inclined to provide lower-quality teaching  or to even abandon their profession (Kamanzi, Tardif, & Lessard, 2015).
Several authors have previously addressed the issue of teacher satisfaction in Canada. However, apart from King, Peart , most studies are regional and address the issue from a provincial perspective. That is the case for Toupin, Lessard, Cormier, Valois  and Mukamurera, Balleux  for Quebec; Collie, Shapka, Perry  for British Columbia and Ontario; and Schaefer et al.  for Alberta. This paper seeks to address the issue from a pan-Canadian perspective to provide a broader picture, but also to compare the situation across provincial school systems.
To achieve this, the analysis targets two main objectives:
i. To identify intersecting factors influencing the satisfaction of Canadian teachers and assess their relative weight;
ii. To compare their influence in different regions of Canada.
The study is divided into four sections. The first deals with
the definition of the concept of job satisfaction and proposes an
analysis framework based on two concepts: factors that are either
intrinsic or extrinsic to the teaching profession. In the second
section on methodology, we describe the data used and the
measurement of the variables studied. The third section presents
the results of the analyses performed and their interpretation. We
wrap up with a brief conclusion that identifies the key findings of
The concept of job satisfaction refers to a person’s enjoyment,
great or small, in performing tasks related to their trade or
profession . The factors involved are numerous and typologies
vary among authors, depending on the classification criteria used.
In the educational world, most authors favour a typology based
on the person practicing the profession, i.e. the teacher, and
distinguish two main categories of factors: intrinsic and extrinsic
. The distinction, however, only makes sense analytically
because, in practice, these factors act both independently and
The working conditions in which teachers exercise their craft
respond to their expectations in varying degrees. Also called
extrinsic factors, these conditions encompass aspects both material
and psychosocial [18,24]. Material aspects, the authors note, may
include salary, educational resources, quality of infrastructure
(space, including classrooms) and other benefits teaching offers
with regards to comparable occupations, such as longer vacations,
retirement pensions, job security, and specific working conditions
such as access to technology. As for the psychosocial aspects,
they refer to the climate of the workplace and the nature of the
work: for example, the organization of work and management of
activities, administration leadership, supervision, administrative
support, shared responsibilities, mutual respect, and team spirit.
Teachers’ satisfaction is heightened when they feel respected,
involved in planning change, supported and autonomous in their
work, and when there is a culture of respect for order within
the school. Conversely, it tends to diminish when teachers feel
tightly controlled and pressured. According to several U.S. studies,
insufficient support from management and colleagues fosters
a sense of incompetence that, in turn, can lead to a sense of
Extrinsic factors also refer to the characteristics of teaching
tasks, for example, workload, quality of support and material
resources. In this regard, various studies have highlighted the
link between rising professional discontent and stress, as well
as teacher burnout [28,29]. In the face of academic change,
teachers, especially in high school, must now accept the “death
of discipline” and often confine themselves to managing difficult
classes where verbal and physical abuse prevails, in short, to play
the “impotent observer” and deal with their own “discomfort” 
and psychological suffering .
Whether it is material resources, work organization or social
climate, extrinsic factors have a double-faceted influence .
First, they provide a framework to support the various tasks.
Secondly, for teachers, they represent an indicator of society’s
appreciation of their profession and, above all, are a recognition
of the central role teachers play in the fulfilment of the school’s
mission: to prepare the society of tomorrow.
Studies examining intrinsic factors have mainly emphasized
the emotional value teachers attach to their work. Exercising the
teaching profession is in itself a source of satisfaction because
of its emotional value [32-34]. Among the factors that provide
satisfaction, the authors cite a love of and passion for teaching [34-
36] and the pleasure of working with and training young people
[18,37]. The act of teaching and the intention of making it a career
thus derives, in large part, from the professional vocation, i.e.,
from the feeling of pleasure and personal fulfilment that educating
youth provides [15,38,39].
Thus, although it is the expression of a professional vocation,
this intrinsic value is not static; it fluctuates according to the
extrinsic factors described above, but also and especially due to
factors intrinsic to the teaching profession. First, it varies greatly
depending on the teacher’s sense of competence in meeting the
diverse needs of students [11,27,40-42]. Teachers are all the more
satisfied and motivated when they feel equipped to carry out their
daily tasks and meet the various challenges of their profession
This sense of competence helps to structure what several
authors refer to as professional identity, i.e. the value placed
on being in the teaching profession and self-perception as
professionals [40,43,44]. This identity is all the more positive
when teachers feel they are competent and have control over
their work . In other words, the more teachers see themselves
as leaders in education and this leadership is seen within their
social environment as an instrument for improving student
achievement, the more satisfied and motivated they are to pursue
their careers. However, this identity becomes negative when they
feel incompetent and lack self-confidence. According to the theory
of self-efficacy developed by Bandura , individuals working
in organizations are always inclined to develop and continuously
adjust their sense of personal effectiveness, i.e. their belief in
their ability to perform their assigned tasks and anticipate the
results. Whether strong or weak, this sense of effectiveness
determines levels of professional engagement or disengagement,
and has a significant impact on student achievement [8,47].
This is, in turn, is the result of interactions between individual
factors — ambition, skills, experience, etc. — and collective ones
— teamwork, coordination style, quality of work, and cordiality between members (Marcel & Murillo, 2015).
In Canada, a study by Toupin et al.  shows that the main
factors likely to increase dissatisfaction are a negative perception
of the school environment, the deterioration of the social image of
the profession, attraction to other professions, lack of promotion,
a feeling of powerlessness, school organization and size at the
high school level. In the same vein, the work of King, Peart 
highlights that dissatisfaction among Canadian teachers is growing
as it pertains to students’ stressful behaviour, poor relationships
with school administrators and excessive after-class workloads
(student paper grading and course preparation). The findings
of recent studies by Collie et al.  concur, supporting the
hypothesis that satisfaction is highly dependent on the quality of
relationships with students and a sense of personal effectiveness.
Using data from a survey of a representative sample of teachers in
British Columbia and Ontario, the authors show that satisfaction
is higher among respondents who have a positive perception of
student motivation and behaviour, and who feel they are “good
In summary, teacher job satisfaction is a complex phenomenon
in which the effects of extrinsic and intrinsic factors are interwoven
[48,49]. Different works highlight how these factors and their
influence vary depending on the societal context . Moreover,
even within the same context, they fluctuate over time according
to the evolution of the school system and the environment. As
mentioned in the introduction, this study focuses on the situation
in Canada. Building on these various writings and considering the
data available, this article seeks to examine the relative weight
of intrinsic and extrinsic factors in overall teacher satisfaction.
Among extrinsic factors, we have retained working conditions
and a sense of competence regarding preliminary training in our
In terms of intrinsic factors, we will focus student relationship
perception, professional autonomy, and changes in educational
From this perspective, our study aims to answer the following
i. What are the extrinsic and intrinsic factors that influence
job satisfaction among Canadian teachers?
ii. To what extent is this influence comparable between
school systems in different provinces or regions?
The following section describes the methodology used to
answer these questions: the data used, the variables studied, and
the measurement model.
The data used in this article are attenuated in that the situation
of teachers may have changed in some respects in the interval
between when the data were collected and when the analyses were carried out. Although, to our knowledge, no provincial school system has undergone any major reform, the teaching profession
and working conditions always evolve over time, and teachers’
perceptions change over generations. These data are taken from
a self-reporting survey questionnaire administered in 2006 to
teachers, non-teaching professionals, and other primary and
secondary school staff in all provinces and territories in Canada.
The distribution of the questionnaire was preceded by a pretest
with about 100 respondents in order to validate its quality.
Conducted by a team of multidisciplinary researchers working at
different universities across Canada, this survey used a stratified
sampling method. The questionnaire was sent to 17,650 teachers
representing 5.7% of the total estimated teacher population of
approximately 310,000 in 2005 (Council of Ministers of Education,
Canada, 2005). The response rate was 26% (N = 4,569).
The aim of the survey was to collect data to provide an overall
portrait of teaching staff with a focus on the following general
aspects: professional experience in general, satisfaction with
working conditions, relationships with colleagues and students,
perception of the effects of social changes and educational policies
on the practice of the profession, etc. The questionnaire was
divided into six sections: 1) socio-demographic information, 2)
perception of change and its impact, 3) workload and working
conditions, 4) social relations in the school, 5) professional
integration and development, and 6) values and educational
ends (Kamanzi, Riopel, & Lessard). The specific parameters to be
studied, taking into account the characteristics of the data used,
will be detailed later in this paper.
Given the paper’s objective, the analysis presented focuses
solely on data collected from teachers. The sub-sample used
consists of 4,210 teacher respondents divided as follows between
provinces: Ontario (n = 1295), Quebec (n = 1215), British Columbia
(n = 385), Maritime provinces ([New Brunswick, Nova Scotia,
Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador] n = 687)
and the Prairie Region ([Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba]
n = 628). Since few respondents from the Territories ([Northwest
Territories, Nunavut, Yukon] n = 61) completed the survey
questionnaire, the sub-sample was excluded from the analysis,
since the number of respondents was insufficient to conduct the
planned multiple regression analysis. It is possible to advance
three hypotheses here. The first is cognitive: the majority of
respondents may feel that several aspects of the questionnaire do
concern them or concern them very little. The second is emotional
and relates to the perception of the requested information: the
questionnaire may have touched on overly sensitive issues, notably
the gap in the development of education systems compared to
other regions and created a feeling of frustration and rejection.
The third, which complements the second, is rational: it is
possible that few respondents expect the research associated with
the questionnaire to provide real solutions to their professional
concerns and, therefore, are of little interest to them. It should be noted, however, that these three assumptions are intuitive, as the data do not provide any information on this subject.
The model proposed in this study includes a total of eight latent
variables that were created using exploratory factor analyses to
select the questionnaire items associated to the dimensions of the
variables studied. This method consists of determining the items
scores that are strongly correlated with each other and with the
latent factor or variable. To simplify factors by maximizing the
variance of saturation coefficients within and between factors ,
we applied the factor analysis method with the varimax rotation.
Only items with an internal consistency coefficient (Cronbach’s
Alpha) α ≥ .70 , an eigenvalue λ ≥ 1, a KMO index ≥ .50 and a
saturation coefficients (factor loading) γ ≥ .30were retained.
The dependent variable general job satisfaction was measured
by the following question: “To what extent do the following
statements correspond to how you feel about teaching?” The
question included seven items such as perception of the teaching
profession, intention of staying in or leaving the profession, etc.
The answer scale of the question included choices ranging from 1
(very rarely) to 6 (very often). After the factor analysis, five highly
correlated items were selected as one factor, with the other two
rejected due to their low correlation with the factor. As indicated
by the factor matrix (Table 1), the internal consistency coefficient
or Cronbach alpha (α = .87), saturation coefficients (γ ≥ .68),
eigenvalue (ʎ = 3.28) and KMO index (.81) are relatively high.
Note: *: The scores associated with these items have been reversed.
Recalling our independent variables, we studied the influence
of intrinsic and extrinsic factors on the profession. To measure
these, we also used factor analysis (Table 2), taking into account
the data available in the survey used. For each of the constructed
factors, the selection of items was based on the same criteria
as the dependent variable: internal consistency coefficient or
Cronbach alpha (α), saturation coefficients (γ), eigenvalue (ʎ) and
i. Extrinsic factors
Four factors related to the extrinsic dimensions of the teaching
profession were constructed: 1) satisfaction with working
conditions, 2) autonomy, 3) involvement in decisions and 4) the
feeling of professional competence at the end of initial training.
a) Satisfaction with working conditions. Respondents were
asked to indicate how satisfied they were with various working
conditions (for example, salary, benefits, physical condition of
classrooms, or technical support). Each item included six response
options ranging from 1 (unsatisfied) to 6 (satisfied). The factor
analysis made it possible to select all eight items included in the
question (α = .78, ʎ = 3.15, γ ≥ .45 and KMO = .81).
b) Professional autonomy. Respondents were asked to
indicate the extent to which they felt they were influencing a
number of decisions related to their tasks, such as defining
teaching content or assessing students. The response scale for
each item ranged from 1 (weak influence) to 6 (strong influence).
Four factor items were selected from this question to constitute a
factor index (α = .72, ʎ = 2.26, γ ≥ 0.57 and KMO = .75).
c) Involvement in decisions. This variable was measured
by the degree of influence on the various decisions of school
management: for example, the school code of conduct and the
school’s educational mission. Four items were selected (α = .78, ʎ
= 2.41, γ ≥ 0.52 and KMO = .64).
d) The sense of competence. Respondents were asked how
prepared they felt for various aspects of their trade (for example:
mastery of subject content, course planning and the use new
technologies). Each item included a response scale ranging from
1 (poorly prepared) to 6 (well prepared). Eight items consisting of
a single factor were retained (α = .86, ʎ = 4.13, γ ≥ .51 and KMO =
ii. Intrinsic factors
Four factors relating to the intrinsic dimensions of the
teaching profession were constructed: rewarding relationships
with pupils, difficult relationships with pupils, perception of
changes in educational policies and increase in peripheral tasks
(e.g. psychology or social work).
a) Rewarding relationships. Respondents were asked to
rate their level of agreement with eleven statements related to
student relationships and class management. The response scale
consisted of six levels ranging from 1 (disagree) to 6 (agree). The
factor analysis made it possible to select six items consisting of a
single factor (α = .83, ʎ = 3.33, γ ≥ .59 and KMO = .87), for example:
“motivating my students is easy” or “my relationship with my
students is fundamentally affective: I love teaching these young
b) Difficult relationships were measured by the same
question as the previous variable. Four items dealing with difficult
relationships with students (α = .66, ʎ = 1.19, γ ≥ .51 and KMO =
.65) were selected (for example, difficulty in maintaining discipline
in class or in assisting students with significant problems). The
internal consistency coefficient is relatively low, but deemed
c) Perception of changes in educational policies.
Respondents were asked to indicate to what extent they believed
that recent policy changes in their education system would
contribute to the improvement of various aspects of the education
system (for example: student learning and socialization). The
question consisted of seven items, each with six response levels
ranging from 1 (few positive effects) to 6 (many positive effects).
The factor analysis shows that four items constitute a single factor
(α = .85, ʎ = 4.54, γ ≥ .62 and KMO = .81).
d) Increased peripheral roles. Respondents were asked
how closely they identify with the different roles they had to play,
such as psychologist, police officer or supervisor. The question
consisted of twelve items, each with six response levels ranging
from 1 (a little) to 6 (a lot). Five items were selected to constitute
a single factor (α = .75, ʎ = 2.55, γ ≥ .51 and KMO = .75).
Most Canadian teachers surveyed said they were satisfied
with their profession. On a scale ranging from one (very rarely)
to six (very often) indicating how frequently they feel a positive
perception of the different aspects of their job, the majority scored
between three and six and can therefore be considered quite
satisfied. However, the satisfaction is relative and uneven among
respondents. To help assemble the overall portrait, respondents
were grouped into three categories (Table 3): 1) dissatisfied, 2)
moderately satisfied and 3) very satisfied.
The dissatisfied are respondents who report having very
rarely or rarely a positive perception of their profession (8%).
This is the case for those who say they often or very often feel
frustrated (22%), are tired of working with students (13%), or
think often of leaving the profession (15%). This category also
includes respondents who regret having chosen education as a
career and who rarely or very rarely think that they would choose
this occupation if they had to start over (22%).
The moderately satisfied take the middle ground. They can be
assumed to have both negative and positive perceptions of various
aspects of their career. In other words, they are ambivalent and
can be split between dissatisfaction and satisfaction. These
respondents very often or quite often have a positive perception
of their occupation. Their relative proportion varies greatly
according to the occupational aspect considered. As (Table 3) also
shows, just over one third of teachers report feeling often or quite
often frustrated (34%). As well, those who say that they are often
or quite often tired of teaching (22%) or who feel the urge to leave
the profession (18%) fall into this category.
Finally, these respondents make up the majority of the
sampling, but their relative proportion varies between 44%
and 65% depending on the occupational factor considered. For
example, between 44% and 65% say they rarely or very rarely
feel frustrated (44%) or tired of working with students (64%).
Similarly, a high proportion rarely think about quitting the
profession (67%). On the contrary, most of these teachers often or
very often think that teaching gives them great satisfaction (64%)
and say that they would still choose the profession if they were to
start over (52%).
The following analysis examines the extent to which overall
satisfaction is influenced by extrinsic and intrinsic factors in
the teaching profession. For this purpose, a three-model linear
regression analysis was carried out (Table 4), taking into account
the influence of the usual individual and socio-professional
characteristics (gender, work experience, educational background,
years of experience, and the socioeconomic environment of the
institution). The first model includes four variables related to the
factors extrinsic to the trade that we defined in the methodology
section: (1) satisfaction with working conditions, (2) professional
autonomy, (3) involvement in decisions, 4) a sense of professional
competence. The results show that the proportion of the variance
explained by the variables of this model is 19%. All the variables
considered have a significant and positive influence on overall
teacher satisfaction. In other words, it is all the higher because
teachers are satisfied with working conditions, feel autonomous
in their work and feel included by administration in the decisionmaking
process, while also having received sufficient initial
training in relation to the requirements of various professional
tasks. Of the four variables examined, satisfaction with working
conditions was the most influential (β = .30; p < .001).
* p < .05; ** p < 01; *** p < .001; ns: not significant at the .05.
The second model considers four variables associated with
the intrinsic factors of the trade: 1) a sense of having a rewarding
relationship with students, 2) the feeling of having difficult
relationships with students, 3) the sense of often having to play
roles peripheral to the teaching profession (parent, psychologist,
social worker, etc.), and 4) the perception of the effects of changes
in educational policies. The results show that the variance
associated with this model (35%) is relatively higher than that
associated with the first model. All the variables examined were
found to be associated significantly with teacher satisfaction.
This is even higher when they have a positive perception of
relationships with students (rewarding relationships) and of
the effects of changes in educational policies on improving the
quality of education in general and their teaching function. On the
other hand, and as might be expected, difficult relationships with
students and the feeling of having to play more peripheral roles
contribute to decreased job satisfaction. Of the four variables,
rewarding relationships with students has the greatest influence
(β = .39; p < .001).
In the third model, we introduced all the variables included
in the preceding models, while taking into account the individual
and socio-professional characteristics of the respondents (gender,
educational background, years of teaching experience and the
socioeconomic milieu in which the institution is located). The
results show that the variance increases to 40%. The significant
influence associated with professional autonomy and the sense
of competence at the end of initial training with colleagues
disappears. Of all variables considered, rewarding relationships
with students is the one that consistently exerts the most influence
on teacher satisfaction: this alone explains 26.6% of the variance,
or 67% of the total variance explained by the entire model. With respect to the other variables, the influences are rather weak.
Finally, when the intrinsic and extrinsic factors of the
profession are taken into account, the influence of individual
characteristics and of the establishment disappear, apart from
gender, work experience, and age. This could be explained by the
fact that these variables, in particular the level of education and
the socioeconomic background of the institution, are themselves
associated with intrinsic and extrinsic factors of the teaching
profession, and their influence on satisfaction is achieved through
the mediation of these same variables. On the other hand, studies
in all contexts have shown differences in the relationship men and
women have to teaching . All other things being equal, women
are more engaged in the profession and find more personal
satisfaction and accomplishment in it than men [52,53]. With
regard to experience, the assumption that teacher job satisfaction
improves over time is supported. As teachers learn to solve
everyday problems and overcome challenges, they gain a greater
sense of confidence and efficiency .
Separate analyses were conducted to examine the extent
to which the influence of the variables studied is comparable
across five regions of Canada: British Columbia, the Maritimes,
the Prairies, Ontario, and Québec1. The results (Table 5) reveal
both similarities and disparities between school systems in the
five regions. Whatever the school system, four variables have a
significant influence on teacher satisfaction: 1) satisfaction with
working conditions, 2) rewarding relationships with pupils,
3) difficult relationships with the latter and 4) perception of
educational policies. Again, of all variables considered, rewarding
relationships with students is the most influential in the five
* p < .05; ** p < .01; *** p < .001 ns: not significant at the .05.
Beyond these similarities, however, two important differences
need to be highlighted. First, although the influence of these
variables on teacher job satisfaction is significant in the five
regions, the results show that it varies in scope depending on the
school context. For example, the influence of satisfaction with
working conditions is relatively higher in the Prairies (β = .29; p
< .001) and British Columbia (β = .28; p < .001) than elsewhere.
This could be explained by the fact that, in the early 2000s, British Columbia implemented a major reform focusing on results-based management and teacher accountability . Compared to the
other provinces (Ontario, Alberta, and Québec) that implemented
a similar policy a few years before, some of the teachers in British
Columbia may have not yet absorbed the policy change and were
sceptical or even resistant. Similarly, the influence of rewarding
relationships with students is significantly higher in Quebec (β =
.40, p < .001), in the Maritimes (β = .37; p < .001), in Ontario (β =
.36; p < .001), and relatively lower in British Columbia (β = .30; p
1In order to present a pared-down model, variables that do not exert a statistically significant influence (sense of competence and professional autonomy) were
excluded from the analysis.
This gap could be attributed to differences in strategies
adopted by provinces in the promulgation and implementation
of management and accountability policies. As noted by Lessard
, some provinces — especially Alberta, Ontario and British
Columbia — have adopted adversarial change strategies,
particularly with internal stakeholders in the education system.
Others, such as Quebec and Saskatchewan, continue to favour
collaboration and building broad consensus, however fragile.
Any change in education is always destabilizing to the work and
experience of teachers . They are, in one way or another, forced
to break with their individual or collective routines, habits, values
and practices [57,58]. This pressure frequently results in a sense
of frustration and incompetence . Although it dissipates over
time and varies between contexts, depending on how the change
was negotiated between public authorities and local stakeholders
prior to its implementation, the sentiment affects not only
teachers’ daily work but also their relationships with students.
Secondly, the following three variables have a weak and
isolated influence: professional autonomy, a sense of involvement
in decisions, and a sense of competence at the end of initial
training. The analysis shows that the significant influence of
these three variables is limited to teachers in the following three
regions: British Columbia, Ontario, and the Prairies provinces.
The objective of this study was to examine factors related
to job satisfaction of Canadian teachers. Based on the classical
theories of the sociology of work and empirical research, we have
distinguished extrinsic and intrinsic factors in the profession. An
initial analysis has shown that Canadian teachers are generally
satisfied with their profession. However, a careful review of
the results reveals that overall satisfaction is highly variable.
While slightly more than 80% report a sense of satisfaction with
their job, about 20% have a strong sense of dissatisfaction. For
example, 22% of respondents often or very often feel frustrated
with teaching, and 15.2% often think they will leave the trade.
Moreover, even among those who say they are satisfied, a relatively
large proportion is ambivalent, wavering between dissatisfaction
and satisfaction. There is reason to believe that this cohort of
respondents could become dissatisfied if corrective measures are
Multiple linear regression analyses revealed that teacher
satisfaction is influenced by both extrinsic and intrinsic factors, but
the influence of the latter is more pronounced. Among the extrinsic
factors examined, the analysis revealed a significant influence of
the following: satisfaction with working conditions, professional
autonomy and the involvement of teachers in the decision-making
processes. In terms of intrinsic factors, the analysis showed that
teacher satisfaction is significantly affected by rewarding or
difficult relationships with students, their perception of the effects
of changes in educational policies on their job, and the sense they
are adding more and more peripheral roles to their tasks.
In short, as Dinham, Scott  recognized, teachers find
satisfaction mainly in factors specific to, or intrinsic to teaching.
These factors are two-fold. The first relates to the task of
educating and teaching: supporting students to succeed and
meeting their needs, and positive relationships with students
and co-workers. The second relates to aspects on which public
and institutional policies may have influence: collegiality among
school staff, professional development, and the maintenance of
a collegial environment conducive to personal development. On
the other hand, some aspects generally fall within institutional
policies or are extrinsic to the profession and which teachers
have little or no control over. These are wages and benefits,
job security and working conditions (for example, educational
resources, infrastructure, and the number of students per class).
However, although they don’t necessarily contribute to increased
satisfaction, these aspects are often likely to trigger dissatisfaction
when they do not meet the expectations of teachers .
In conclusion, the results of this study are interesting both
theoretically and politically. On the theoretical level, they allow
us to develop a portrait of teacher satisfaction and the main
factors that influence it. They corroborate the results of previous
studies on the job satisfaction of Canadian teachers [12,15]
and elsewhere in the world. From a public-policy perspective,
the study highlights some important aspects of the teaching
profession on which public and institutional policies in education
should place more emphasis to increase the recruitment and
retention of teachers. A teacher’s job satisfaction is conditional on
the feeling of competence and effectiveness in meeting the needs
of students (as highlighted in the section dedicated to a review
of the literature:) [11,27,40,42,61], but also and especially on a
challenging work environment . Measures should therefore
be put in place to regularly renew professional development
programs as well as develop strategies to strengthen collaborative
work and collegiality in order to provide teachers with the tools
required to address everyday challenges .
Such measures would help increase teacher engagement in
student achievement  and, more broadly, passion for their
profession as educators [36,64,65]. Teacher satisfaction is a
prerequisite for any education system that seeks to improve its
efficiency  and that is why “motivating teachers should be an essential part of any educational system, so that students can perform better and so that we, as the larger society, may achieve a
better future” .
Regarding student, similar measures should also be
considered to continuously strengthen discipline in the classroom
and within the institution with a view of improving the quality
of relationships with teaching staff. It is important to note that
the more students feel that they have good relationships with
teachers, the more motivated they are to invest in success and vice
versa. Ultimately, any improvement in teacher-student relations,
whether it concerns students or teachers, merits to be part of
the school justice agenda, especially since students at risk of
dropping out are more greatly affected by feelings of good or bad
relationships with teachers .
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