Accentuate the Positive: Special Education Teacher Job Satisfaction and Joy

Joshua Zale Singer


Special education teacher attrition combined with declining college teacher preparation program enrollments has resulted in a teacher shortage of crisis proportion in America. Additionally, teachers are often underfunded, overstressed, and burdened with societal and political pressures that have been brewing since before the pandemic. In spite of this, teachers continue to value the work they do in their classrooms, and many even find joy in the work that they are doing. This paper examined both teacher job satisfaction by analyzing self-reported, Likert scale data, as well as teacher joy collected through open-ended questioning. Results indicated that teachers reported highest levels of teacher job satisfaction related to coworkers. Teacher joy, however, was reported almost exclusively as a product of working closely with students. These findings have the potential to impact teacher retention and recruitment in positive ways.

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Copyright (c) 2023 Joshua Zale Singer

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International Journal of Higher Education
ISSN 1927-6044 (Print) ISSN 1927-6052 (Online) Email:

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