If you’re a new teacher, or simply the parent of a student enrolled in a public school, you may be wondering what issues teachers face on a daily basis. Unfortunately, the list is long and it took some time and research to come up with the top five.
One would think that making sure your child’s teachers have the proper accreditation for their position, and that they took the proper educational routes, would be of the utmost concern in our public school system. Sadly, though these are important considerations, they are far outweighed by other pressing issues within the walls of our public schools.
In no particular order, we have found that the top five issues facing teachers, students, and public schools as a whole, are:
No matter what your age, the chances that you were bullied, or were a bully, are high. Children are children and don’t change drastically, even as decades go by. However, in today’s modern society, it’s a sad fact that bullies are keeping up with technology. No longer able to monitor children solely in the classroom and on the playground, teachers and administrators have to monitor children through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, and be aware of bullying via text message. Because the laws are still vague when it comes to social media, many schools are writing policies and procedures regarding cyberbullying into their student handbooks.
It will still be another decade before we have teachers that have grown up with the same technology as their students. As it stands today, we have students in classrooms who are far more technologically advanced than their teachers. Students used to be entertained when a teacher rolled a television cart into the room and played a movie. An overhead projector was a stunningly modern piece of machinery. Today, teachers have to be more creative than ever to keep their students’ attention.
3. Too Many Children
As budgets shrink, class sizes grow. We expect our teachers to give the same quality education to 30 students as they gave to 15. If you’ve ever been in a classroom full of 30 children for 15 minutes, let alone a day, you’ll know that this task is next to impossible. With inclusion programs, general education teachers are expected to teach average students, gifted children and children who need accommodation in a single classroom.
4. Parent Involvement
For many teachers, it seems as though there is no happy medium when it comes to parental involvement. There are parents who can’t stay away, and parents who refuse to participate. Finding ways to encourage parents to participate in their child’s education, in a manner that supports learning, has been frustrating teachers for decades. Unfortunately, there has been on solution found that has worked across the board.
Many new teachers are shocked to find that the bulk of their classroom supplies will be paid for out-of-pocket or not purchased at all. As funding is cut, teachers are not only losing jobs, but classrooms are being merged, extracurricular activities are being eliminated and arts programs are being done away with. Many districts are using outdated textbooks; some are even asking children to share because there are too few to go around. Until the general public starts passing school levies, and the government steps up and provides adequate funding, the ones who will suffer are the students.
Ask any teacher and you’ll be given an arm’s length list of issues facing public schools in America. It’s unfortunate that a country that many consider to be the most powerful in the world, is so inadequately supporting the education of its future.
Nicole Morgan is a mom and career counselor, she blogs for mastersineducationguides.org where you can find information about masters of education programs. She enjoys finding her students unique career opportunities!