NOW OPEN: Educator Climate Survey aims to inform decision makers on the education profession 

Reaching Higher New Hampshire is inviting teachers, school staff, and administrators to complete the Educator Climate Survey to inform statewide conversations about how New Hampshire can support, recruit, and retain educators and school staff. Access the survey here: 

The Educator Climate Survey (ECS) will be conducted in partnership with New Hampshire’s professional education organizations to better understand the environment and working conditions of teachers and school staff across the state.  

One of the most essential investments our state can make in supporting our public schools is establishing and maintaining a strong, diverse, and supported teaching and learning profession,” said Nicole Heimarck, Executive Director of Reaching Higher NH. 

“Our goal is to better understand the opportunities and challenges that teachers and school staff see every day in order to inform the statewide dialogue around how we can support and strengthen the profession,” she continued.   

The full list of survey partners includes: 

  • AFT – NH
  • Great Schools Partnership
  • NEA – NH
  • NH Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (NHASCD)
  • NH Association of School Business Officials (NHASBO)
  • NH Association of School Principals (NHASP)
  • NH Association of World Language Teachers (NHAWLT)
  • NH Charitable Foundation (NHCF)
  • NH School Administrators Association (NHSAA)
  • NH School Board Association (NHSBA)
  • NH School Counselors Association (NHSCA)
  • NH School Nurses Association (NHSNA)
  • Women Educators Leading Learning (WELL)

The survey, which RHNH initially administered in 2022, is being redesigned to include all educators, school leaders, and school staff in response to the overwhelming feedback we received in the last survey. Originally designed to capture the input of educators who were leaving the state or profession, we learned that individuals in all phases of their careers wanted to share their thoughts. So, we listened: now, the survey is open to all! 

Past survey finds that teachers feel undervalued but find opportunities for the future 

Our survey, which was administered in 2022, found that New Hampshire teachers and school staff are feeling increased pressure and demands and aren’t being financially compensated for their professional expertise like in other fields. Teachers, in particular, feel the weight of growing political divisiveness and a shifting school climate, where increasing pressures, expectations, and demands have impacted the field. Many teachers directly cited political rhetoric, attacks from lawmakers, and a lack of support from state leaders as reasons for leaving the state or profession, and legislation like the “divisive concepts” law has heightened fears of consequences for teachers and school leaders. And at all levels, inadequate pay has driven them out of the profession altogether.

So, what can we do about it? We can start by: 

  • Ensuring that teachers and school staff receive fair and competitive pay regardless of where they teach. New Hampshire must ensure that its school funding formula provides school districts with the resources they need to pay teachers and school staff fairly. 
  • Investing in effective retention strategies, like mentoring, professional learning and growth, and establishing collaborative leadership structures and practices. 
  • Strengthening and diversifying the teaching profession. All students benefit when teachers and school staff represent the rich diversity of our communities. Preparation programs like teacher residencies and Grow Your Own (GYO) programs create opportunities to recruit local educators and strengthen long-term retention. According to research, nearly half of the new teachers in residency programs across the country are people of color. 
  • Improving recruitment strategies. Eliminating barriers for future teachers to pursue pathways to education is critical to making sure that New Hampshire has a strong, well-qualified teacher workforce now and in the future. Scholarships, grants, loan forgiveness, and other incentive programs can lessen the financial burden of pursuing a career in education and encourage teachers to stay in the state. 
  • Respecting teaching as a profession. Well-qualified teachers and school leaders are highly trained and experts in their field. The public overwhelmingly supports public schools and teachers and trusts them more than almost any other profession. We must ensure that our schools are well-supported and are affirming places for our students, teachers, and staff and that they are valued in our communities and in our state as a whole.

For more information about the survey and its distribution, please contact Christina Pretorius, Policy Director, at Stay informed and connected with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and join the New Hampshire Education Network (NHEN), our network of New Hampshire parents, educators, business leaders, and community members. By doing so, you’ll be the first to know about the latest education news in education policy, ensuring you stay ahead and connected.