A study of Omani teachers' careers: a journey from enthusiasm...
Albelushi, Auhoud Said
Social relationships within the school and recognition of teachers' efforts are two main elements respondents say are crucial for their sense of career satisfaction. However, "satisfaction" is found to be a complex concept, and one which allows a deeper and more comprehensive conceptualizing of respondents' lives. While teachers may display a sense of "job comfort", in which they are generally comfortable with "satisfactory" work conditions, this proves to be a superficial expression of contentment. "Job fulfilment", on the other hand, describes a deeply satisfying relationship with the tasks they do, and the school environment generally: "job fulfilment" suggests an experience of a profound sense of comfort with the intrinsic rewards of their job. The research suggests there are important implications in terms of how intrinsic and extrinsic satisfiers work both in relation to the wider social structure, as well as within the school itself.\ud \ud My research recognized that respondents moved through four main career stages: the academic stage, the novitiate stage, the maturation stage and the mid-career stage. Each stage was marked with specific characteristics; teachers in each stage expressed different, though clearly related concerns. This research presents a clear linkage between the initial decision to teach, subsequent development of a commitment to teaching, and the concomitant desire to quit.\ud \ud The research examines the applicability to Oman of extant models of teacher career stages, developed in the Western literature, and considers where an Omani developmental model may agree with and where depart from these models. The overall findings illustrate the powerful role of socio-cultural forces on teachers' professional and personal development and, considering these, facilitate the discussion of issues of gender and job satisfaction within the teaching profession. Wider extrapolations from the data analysis may help generate further research on teachers, giving them the voices they need for their future development and empowerment.
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