Israel’s teacher burnout problem may not be as severe as previously thought, a study released Sunday suggests.

65% of teachers are satisfied with their career choice, the TACK poll for Herzog Academic College revealed, compared to 23% who are ‘satisfied enough’ but not planning to continue the career path permanently and just 11% who are ‘dissatisfied.’

The survey shows that 55% of teachers chose the profession out of love for children and the desire to impact childrens’ lives; 35%, out of a desire to impart values to the next generation; 5% due to family pressure; 3% due to the many days off and other benefits; and 3% due to the job security teachers’ unions provide in contradistinction to other fields.

72% of teachers would recommend teaching as a profession to their own students, compared to 28% who would not. Of those, more male teachers (88%) would recommend the field of education over women (69%).

Despite this, 82% of respondents said that teachers’ low salaries are the prime factor driving young Israelis away from the profession, with just 18% saying the pay has “little or no” impact on that choice.

32% of teachers stated that salary alone would make them leave education, compared with 27% who named discipline problems and poor student relations as the cause of burnout, 23% the workload, 14% poor evaluations, and 4% a different factor.

The impact of wages on career choice was noticeably higher in the Tel Aviv area, with 49% of teachers there naming salaries as the driving force versus just 20% of teacher in the Jerusalem area.

The study provides a glimmer of hope regarding the state of Israel’s education system, which according to Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) data in July, is suffering from sky-high burnout and teacher turnover.

That study revealed that one in every four new teachers in the elementary school system dropping out within five years and one in three in the high school system. Teacher turnover in primary education stood at 23%, in junior high at 33%, and secondary education at 37%.

The survey followed another CBS announcement in June that Israeli teachers make 37% less than teachers of the same educational field in OECD countries.

November 29, 2015