The Challenges Teachers Face – Part II

Just like with any profession, teaching comes with its own set of challenges that you can’t understand unless you experience them yourself. While many people think they know what it’s like to be a teacher, because we went to school, a day in the life of a teacher is more difficult than people imagine.

In the first article identified the misconceptions about teachers’ work schedules and what it is that causes teachers to work so many unpaid overtime hours throughout the year. In this article, we’ll look at the challenges teachers face when dealing directly with students.

People go into the field of education to become teachers because they want to make a difference in the lives of young people.   Unfortunately the multiple problems that come along with teaching kids are often overlooked. That is, until a new teacher is thrown into a classroom for the very first time.

While there have always been difficult students, today the challenges teachers face with problem students are far greater and more violent.

Students are increasingly becoming more violent in the classroom—verbally, physically, and sexually assaulting their peers, teachers, administrators, and staff in record numbers.  The rates of property destruction have skyrocketed.  Some of these destructive behaviors are a result of the increase in mental health issues.  Shockingly, social media challenges that encourage such behaviors are also on the rise.  It’s “cool” to post videos of undesirable behaviors, and challenges today go beyond a student’s small group of friends, it’s goes viral.  This increases destructive behavior across the country. 

Bullying has reached new levels.  Bullies are using technology to humiliate their victims twenty-four hours a day.  Bullying has also gotten more vicious.  Between the physical abuse and the emotional abuse, young people who are bullied literally have nowhere to hide.  Going to the authorities often causes an increase in brutality. 

Teachers are also impacted by physical health issues of students. From helping disabled students clean up after bathroom accidents to caring for students with seizure disorders, sickle cell anemia, diabetes, and communicable illnesses, teachers are forced to manage additional duties that go beyond teaching. 

The biggest issue teachers face is the total lack of respect from students and families.  The “my kid would never do that” syndrome encourages the student to continue and escalate their behavior.  Since there are no consequences, discipline is really a joke today, students have free rein to do whatever they want.  Their behavior negatively impacts every student they come in contact with, all teachers and administrators yet there’s little to no recourse to change these behaviors. 

Teaching is a thankless job but having these behaviors when you’re trying to do your job, getting cursed at, name called, talked down to, and yelled at by students and their family members makes you wonder, why would you be a teacher or why am I staying in the teaching profession?   Combine all this with an administration that is unsupportive at best, it’s only natural that so many teachers experience mental and physical issues.  

These challenges, combined with poor pay, are proving that the teaching profession is no longer enchanting or inviting.  It is shameful that teachers do not have the respect and support of the community they serve and it’s coming back on the community through teacher shortages and good teachers leaving the profession.