After parents, teachers have the most valuable role in the life of a student. But all along, they also come across many obstacles. While the rewards surpass these difficulties, it’s still important that we are aware of the real challenges of teachers that are taken for granted.
Regardless of the age and level of classes, there will always be tests or questions that demand a teacher’s attention. Given that every educator has to deal with different minds and situations, she has to think creatively when it comes to meeting the needs of each learner.
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The Real Challenges of Teachers That Many Are Not Aware Of
1) The Struggle to Engage 30 kids every day
This sounds constant. However, it’s not about the students alone but the genuine effort of a teacher to overcome whatever there is just to pull her class together. Imagine all the understanding, patience, love, and care teachers extend for the sake of educating these children not to mention having their own lives and households to manage.
From extended work hours, dealing with stubborn and difficult kids, and sacrificing their leisure time — the time they get for rest during the weekends is truly not enough.
2) Sitting through compulsory teacher meetings
A teacher’s job and obligation do not necessarily end when they’re through teaching for the day. Many times they have to attend mandatory staff meetings dictated by school leaders. Some meetings have less focus on learning and are longer than expected. The extra responsibility can take a lot of endurance for teachers to get through the day.
3) Too Many Students Wanting to Friend Them on Facebook
Nowadays, students are the most avid social media users. While it’s fine for a teacher to get a social media account, they are to avoid “friending” everyone for some reasons like incidental sharing of photos and messages deemed inappropriate by their school systems.
As much as teachers try not to affect their treatment of students, the situation can still have a subliminal consequence. Students on the other hand may not have bad intentions, yet teachers are to deny any social media requests from them.
4) Getting interrupted by a lot of things in the middle of classes
Teachers are serious in their teaching. Their focus is for every student to finish the day with achievements. Of course, they also want to get their jobs done after classes.
But with interruptions like visits by the school staff, calls to classroom phones, intercom announcements, other students visiting the classroom, going out for bathroom breaks, or arriving late and entering the class in a way that disrupts learning — all these could challenge a teacher’s patience.
5) Battling with germs every day
Teachers meet a ton of people every single day. Their commutes may expose them to elements and to every possible illness they can bring to the classroom. One of the main things that a teacher must prioritize is their health. If they get sick, who will handle their classes? If the kids get sick, she may be the culprit.
Using hand sanitizers, taking multivitamins every day, and taking proper rest, could lessen the chances of a teacher being sick. Her students can be safe from getting ill, as well.
6) A file of teacher’s unending tasks
Oftentimes, teachers say it’s fine with them to stay longer at work. But the truth is their minds are shouting to be home. Yet they choose to stay to finish things their class needs the next day. What a love.
With all those piles of teaching tasks that need to be done, it’s truly difficult to make ends meet before the day ends. Therefore to leave work early is extremely challenging for many teachers.
7) Unannounced observations
Teachers always give their 100% when teaching. But it can be tough when their work hours are unpredictable because they have to deal with other people without advanced knowledge of it.
When a teacher gets an unannounced observation, particularly on days they are busiest, it’s quite difficult to showcase their 100%. She may be the best teacher, but the result can be a poor rating. She could have done much better if the observation had been announced even without an exact day and time.
8) Touching or tripping from something wet on the classroom floor
One of the teacher’s responsibilities is to teach their students about being tidy and the concept of cleanliness. However, with stubborn members of the class, the teacher will have to do cleaning up the mess that someone made. If that’s something gross, then it can ruin their whole mood.
Thankfully, every teacher is allowed to groom her class by being tidy themselves as well as their surroundings. With a cooperating class, this is a sense of achievement and relief for the classroom teacher.
9) Over and above parental expectations
It’s fine for parents to expect highly of their children’s performance. But sometimes, expectations that are too high can be counterproductive.
For instance, when parents have high aspirations for their children’s achievement in math but in reality, their child performs poorly and then questions their teacher; this is such an unfair judgment. Often, it could be challenging for a teacher to resolve situations like this.
10) Working even when not feeling well
Since teachers have too many things on their daily tasks, they are forced to show up for work even with a headache. While they can make creative solutions to take some rest while in school, their minds are still focused on their students. “Oh, the class is waiting for me..” “Are they okay?
Only teachers understand this kind of worry and the significant mix of devotion, obligation, and distress often leads them to consider duty and come to work.
11) Not having a moment to drink the midmorning coffee
A teacher’s day starts very early leaving her with little room to prepare. From the moment they step foot inside the classroom, their responsibility begins. This could range from housekeeping to preparing all the materials needed for the day. Before she realizes it, it’s already lunchtime.
So much time has passed that they forget to drink the coffee or take something for snacks. Although not all teachers keep missing midday break, still there are more than a few who forgets.
12) Lack of Funding
Unless the teacher works in a private school, issues with funding are among the educational challenges faced by them. When a class is growing, teachers may start to worry about providing crucial one-on-one attention or materials for every student.
She may be able to provide out of her own pocket but is most of the time insufficient. The result is lower student performance, satisfaction, and achievement. To the teacher, this can be distressing.
‘What’s the hardest thing about being a teacher?’
In this video interview with Luke Vyner, teachers at IATEFL share what they find most challenging.
To many people, teaching children seems like a piece of cake or a must-do. After all, it’s an educator’s job.
The misconception may come from believing that a teacher’s role is like the rest of the working community with the same people and with the same general expectations year after year. Schools deal with new groups of students every year with changing attitudes, backgrounds, ethnicities, learning paces, and potentials.
Teachers do not choose their students but they give their all for them. In spite of this, their teaching is judged by the students’ performance.
This makes teaching not just an exceptional career but a noble calling. Just the fact that educators have the opportunity to impact the lives of a country’s future generation – is already a huge difference.
Now we know the love and sacrifices teachers are willing to give to their students. Do you have something to say? Share them in the comments.