Cathy Squillini


This study investigated the characteristics of job satisfaction that lead to commitment and longevity in the Catholic school system for full-time Catholic elementary school lay teachers. The study was conducted using 339 teachers in the Archdiocese of New York who were part of the Catholic school system for 10 or more years. Data were collected through survey questionnaires and interviews. Using a theoretical framework relevant to job satisfaction, motivation, and adult development, the data were analyzed to determine how teachers are influenced by the work, the workplace, and other members in the workplace in determining their job satisfaction. The results of the study indicated that Catholic elementary school lay teachers place high priority on characteristics such as autonomy, administrative recognition and support, student motivation, and positive relationships with colleagues. Participants also stated that these characteristics are the conditions of the Catholic school system that encourage them to remain in Catholic school teaching. For the Catholic elementary school lay teachers in this study, commitment stems from the cultural bonds between the teacher and the school that reflect the shared values and beliefs held by both.

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