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

Wilfried Admiraal*, Ietje Veldman, Tim Mainhard, Jan van Tartwijk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-355
Number of pages19
JournalSocial Psychology of Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Attrition
  • Job satisfaction
  • Teacher-student relationship
  • Typology
  • Veteran teachers


Dive into the research topics of 'A typology of veteran teachers’ job satisfaction: their relationships with their students and the nature of their work'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this