A typology of veteran teachers’ job satisfaction: their relationships with their students and the nature of their work

  • Wilfried AdmiraalEmail author
  • Ietje Veldman
  • Tim Mainhard
  • Jan van Tartwijk


The relationship with students is one of the main sources of teachers’ job satisfaction throughout their career. To support veteran teachers and decrease attrition rates during the late career, more insights are necessary to understand the complex relationship between veteran teachers’ relationships with their students and their job satisfaction. In the current study, we have developed a typology of veteran teachers based on both student perceptions and teacher perceptions of teachers’ interpersonal relationships with their students and teachers’ self-reported job satisfaction. Four groups of teachers were identified: positive over-estimators and positive under-estimators refer to teachers with relatively high job satisfaction and negative under-estimators and negative realists included teachers who are relatively dissatisfied with their teaching job. Satisfied veteran teachers seem to attach importance to the quality of the teacher-student relationship, whereas unsatisfied veteran teachers also attribute their dissatisfaction to extrinsic and school-based factors such as work conditions and governmental policies. We also found differences in the extent to which veteran teachers had realistic perceptions of their relationships with students. Two types of veteran teachers, positive under-estimators and negative under-estimators, underestimated their relationships with students, whereas one type of satisfied veteran teachers overestimated this relationship (positive over-estimators). Just one type of teachers generally showed realistic self-perceptions of their relationships with students, but these teachers were generally quite dissatisfied (negative realists). Implications for supporting veteran teachers are discussed.


Veteran teachers Job satisfaction Typology Teacher-student relationship Attrition 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ICLON Graduate School of TeachingLeiden UniversityLeidenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.School of EducationAmsterdam University of Applied SciencesAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Faculty Social and Behaviour SciencesUniversity UtrechtUtrechtThe Netherlands

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