Over the history of education, teachers have dealt with numerous challenges. Year after year, they overcome some challenges while others remain. Additionally, as technology and human needs as well as a lifestyle change, the challenges also evolve. For that reason, many of the challenges they face today weren’t even in their minds in the last 10 years or so. This article looks at the most challenges teachers face today.
One of the defining features of the 21st Century societies is the unhealthy focus on individual accomplishments rather than group or societal accomplishments. Unfortunately, that has also found its way in the classroom. Today, teachers have to try transferring knowledge to students who seem too focused on their individual performances. Consequently, that has seen teamwork thrown out of the window. Empathy and support in the classroom are also dead.
Teachers Playing Multiple Roles Simultaneously
Today, the teacher’s role is not limited to teaching students in the class alone. What has caused this? Mostly, parents and guardians have become too busy trying to make ends meet to give children (students) the attention they need. For this reason, teachers now have to wear different hats, counselors, psycho-educators, and social workers all at the same time. The multitasking is good, but it has its drawbacks too.
Teachers Dealing with Excessive Paperwork
The modern teachers have to deal with tons of paperwork. For example, the government expects them to keep reliable stats on attendances. Apart from that, teachers should also produce paperwork showing the grades each student has earned over a specific duration. As if that’s not enough, the education authorities expect teachers to create reliable statistics that show student growth. All this eats into the little time they have to prepare for fresh lessons.
Increased Demand from School Administrators
It’s also worth mentioning that teachers have to work closely with their respective school administrators. That is not bad. However, the challenge arises when the administrators place a heavy burden on each teacher’s shoulders. These demands can be backbreaking. They could easily cause burnout in teachers, which would then not augur well for students who expect the best from these purveyors of knowledge and information. Some of these burdens include:
- Maintaining exemplary lines of communication with parents
- Offering all the support that students need
- Extending personalized assistance and individual attention to students who struggle in class
Following the Same Curriculum to All Students Regardless of Ability
As all teachers know, no two students are the same. Students are individuals. For this reason, they all grasp lessons and issues at different pace depending on several factors. Nevertheless, the government, education officials, school administrators, and parents all expect teachers to teach each student the same. Expecting teachers to follow a fixed curriculum on all these students is a bit unfair on the teachers and the students who depend on them for knowledge.
Changing Face of Classroom Management
For as long as students attend classes, teachers have always had to monitor and discourage negative interactions in the classroom. In this case, negative interactions revolve around bullying, fighting, and such like behavior. What is more, teachers had and still have to ensure that all students comply with acceptable norms. Nevertheless, significant changes have taken place in this regard. Today, the teacher has to put more focus on:
- Analyzing and coordinating student social interactions
- Know how to manage students in digital classrooms
Changing Face of Teaching
Lastly, teaching is changing. Today, technology supports digital learning, which has then reduced physical interactions between teachers and learners. Additionally, how teaching actually takes place is also changing. For example, the modern teacher has to show students why problems need solving. In the past, teachers had to focus more on showing students how to solve the many problems they encountered in and out of the class.
These are just a few of the main challenges facing teachers in the 21st Century.