Why It’s So Hard to Be a Teacher Right Now
Teaching is an important and rewarding career, but it can also be draining and exhausting. Teaching is arguably harder now than ever before for many reasons, including student behavior, rapidly changing technology, and low pay. This article will explore several of the reasons that teaching has become such a challenging profession.
Student behavior can be a serious problem for teachers at some schools. While the majority of students are well-behaved, the handful of students that are violent, aggressive, loud, and disruptive not only compromise teachers’ ability to teach, but also the safety of teachers and other students. There are constant reports of students physically attacking teachers, but teachers are hesitant even to defend themselves for fear of getting fired and having their teaching license suspended or revoked.
Gun violence from students or people outside of schools is a real and daily threat for students and teachers. School shootings are on the rise and many educators feel unsafe every day they go to work. There has yet to be an effective intervention to prevent gun violence in schools, and it causes many teachers to transfer schools or switch which grade level they are willing to teach.
While new advances in technology can certainly support learning, it is a challenge for teachers to keep up with constant changes. Schools have come a long way from the chalkboards of the past. Teachers now must learn to use Smartboards, different types of computers, calculators, and more. Teachers also have to adapt to changing methods of technological communication with students, parents, administration, and other faculty.
Cell phone use in the classroom is a huge challenge for teachers to overcome as well. Students of all ages have their own cell phones now, and it can be very difficult to enforce school policies regarding cell phone use, keep students on task, and prevent cheating through technology.
Low pay affects teachers in many ways and can make it difficult for them to effectively do their jobs. Many teachers are forced to take second or even third jobs just to make ends meet, so more of their time outside of the classroom is spent working at other jobs. This leaves teachers depleted and gives them little time to get any work done at home.
Even assuming that teachers only work one job, it is very difficult to keep a balance between life and work. Many teachers feel personally responsible and invested in their students and devote extra, unpaid time to ensuring their success. After a standard workday, many teachers stay late to tutor students, grade papers, or prepare for the next day since they are always with students and don’t have time during the school day to take care of these responsibilities. Teachers take work home often as well, so they never really get to take a break.
These are just a few of the many obstacles teachers face. Educators need more support from administrators, lawmakers, and parents to be able to do their jobs effectively. The more society invests in teachers, the more it invests in children and the future.