REGION - A recent poll conducted by Plymouth Rock Assurance-Teachers’ Insurance Plan of New Jersey revealed that nearly one-third of New Jersey teachers polled would choose a different career path if they “were given a ‘do over,’ that is, an opportunity to go back in time and change your life.”

That’s nearly twice as many teachers as Gallup found were “actively disengaged” from their jobs (16 percent) in a recent survey.

Results from the poll highlighted these issues:

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Playing Too Many Roles. Participants in the Roundtable expressed a concern that teachers are required to play many roles – mother/father, role model and mentor. They are more than the “x’s and o’s” of education. Often, they are politicians, not only mediating issues in the classroom but also with parents; even representing needs before school administrators.

Challenges Beyond the Classroom. Roundtable participants also shared that motivating and getting through to students are the prominent everyday classroom challenges. This is compounded by a perceived lack of administrative and parent support. Teachers in the roundtable noted that they are underappreciated by parents and believe that they are seen as daycare workers. Further, they noted their frustration in communicating the challenges of teaching to parents.

Investment in the future. Roundtable members perceived teaching as an “investment in the future” that when done right, shows a direct and immediate impact – one that can be seen in the development of students. Further, they were drawn to education because of the value they saw in being able to improve students’ lives.

Meaning. Their self-worth seemed to be tied to their experiences as educators.