Commitment is a sense of fidelity and adherence. The sense of belonging in the core of commitment concept causes a constitution of a kind of connection between organization and individual and makes the individuals gather round a common value, aim and culture.
Commitment is one of the most important factors influencing their work and student performance in schools. Teacher commitment indicates that teachers with high levels of commitment work harder, demonstrate stronger affiliation to their schools, and show more desire to carry out the goals of teaching than teachers with low levels of commitment. More importantly, students of highly committed teachers are more likely to learn material and develop a positive attitude toward school than those of teachers with low levels of commitment.
Teacher commitment is a key factor influencing the teaching-learning process. It is the psychological identification of the individual teacher with the school and the subject matter or goals, and the intention of that teacher to maintain organizational membership and become involved in the job well beyond personal interest. According to this view, the higher the teacher’s psychological identification is, the higher his or her sense of commitment will be.
The three natures of commitment discussed in the class are the affective, normative and continuance commitment.
Affective commitment – is the teacher’s positive emotional attachment to the school for the learning of the students. A teacher who is affectively committed strongly identifies with the goals of the school and desires to remain a part of it. This teacher commits to the school because he/she “wants to”.
Normative commitment – is the teacher’s perceived obligation to remain the school or stay because of the feelings of obligation. The individual commits to and remains with an organization because of feelings of obligation. These feelings may derive from many sources. For example, the school may have invested resources in training a teacher who then feels a ‘moral’ obligation to put forth effort on the job and stay with the organization to ‘repay the debt.’ It may also reflect an internalized norm, developed before the person joins the organization through family or other socialization processes, that one should be loyal to one’s organization. The employee stays with the organization because he/she “ought to”.
Continuance Commitment – the teacher commits to the school because he/she perceives high costs of losing the job, including economic costs (such as pension accruals) and social costs (friendship ties with co-workers) that would be incurred. The employee remains a member of the organization because he/she “has to”.
These commitments to the profession, the school, and the students are necessary for teachers to have the motivation to pursue changes in their practice. However, some schools did not bother to take care of the commitment of their teachers which in return affects the quality of education. Highly committed teachers are willing to do everything for the good of the students and school and resulting to high quality education. Thus, schools should have programs and approaches to enhance the teachers’ commitment.