By Ustaz John Garang Ayii Riak, China
Sunday, June 21, 2020 (PW) — A teacher is a good role model for a learner who can motivate him or her to recover the best life in many aspects. In the same way, a teacher’s life is not that perfect like the way everyone thinks it is. Like every other profession, teachers are again confronting with a lot of challenges. Although, good collaboration from learners, parents, as well as school managers, can support them to overwhelm some of the difficulties they face and solve them successfully.
Personal limited time, lack of teamwork, working towards long term goals, arguments, and student excuses are included as new challenges facing the teachers in a profession. Talking these common problems can never only assist to improve teacher’s retention rate, but also increases realization rates of learners and the eventual quality of education. Below are some of the new key classroom challenges facing teachers in contemporary education’s issues.
Limited Time for Planning: Unlike in the previous Centuries when teachers couldn’t just finish their syllabus and characteristically appraise the learners. The condition is really challenging nowadays. Teachers will have to handle numerous duties in the classroom. Modernizing the subject to current demands, correcting teaching and learning materials, managing field visiting trips, content presentations as well as bringing in new creative methods to meet the contemporary educational styles are some among them. Teachers are discovering it really challenging in managing multiple roles as they have no enough time for planning. Preparing, planning, and executing works expected out of them add a lot of pressure and the lack of time.
Multiple of paperwork: Apart from preparing quality teaching and learning content, it is collectively for school management to handle them with different additional roles like psycho-educator, counselor, social worker, and many others. Preparing reliable statistics and building and updating learner growth indicators are some of the vital classroom challenges teachers have to handle in addition to teaching and learning notes. Such excessive paper tasks consume a lot of time out of their fixed timetables. This can completely affect the quality of tasks they provide. It is really very challenging for them to manage all of these without giving space for peoples’ criticisms. It can take a toll over their lives and many teachers are finding it very hard to have a proper work-life balance in the career.
Pressure over Quality Performances from Schools Administrators: Unlike the previous time, nowadays, there are stiff and serious competitors in every sector and the situation is no different in the teaching profession. Everybody is being challenged always to give out their quality work because a better person is knocking on one’s role. This causes a lot of pressure from school managers to perform well every day without leaving any point of criticisms and blames. A teacher is currently answerable to win half percentage of his / her class, the lines of the learner growth indicators, and even the smooth disciplinary reasons of the class they manage. Being answerable for numerous roles other than quality teaching is really to put a lot of the best performance pressure on teachers is one of the new challenges in the teaching profession.
Balancing Different Learners’ Learning Needs: To implement the issue of inclusive education for different types of learners in a single classroom will be different and they will have diverse learners’ learning needs. Satisfying all of them at the same time and in the same classroom while approaching a particular curriculum is also one of the serious challenges facing teachers. In this day and age, teachers are trying differential teaching approaches to fulfill the need for both slow and quick learners. So that they will be required to bring in a lot of creativity and different strategies that require additional preparation styles and times. However, once a teacher learns to overcome it, it will be an encouraging experience for your profession and for the benefit of the classroom as well.
Handling Too Many School Stakeholders: Teachers are in the middle of many ‘stakeholders’ like parents, learners/ students, school administrators. Satisfying all these school stakeholders, in the same way, can be one of the serious challenges for teachers in the teaching career.
Management and Administration: that are not supportive toward teaching staff, a class of students, and parents lack cooperation and teamwork who are always complaining without understanding the real situation we the teachers are facing this can make the job tough. Likewise, there can be quarrels and arguments or flights between these stakeholders’ and sometimes, parents take sides supporting their children and taking a stand to solve the situation that can be sooner worrying for them at last in a nearer future. They will have to make choices between justice and survival at times, so this is one of the new challenges facing teachers in the teaching profession.
Get burn out easily: It can be fun and relaxed to take up teaching as a profession as you can be in the company of children and young ones which keeps you young. At the same time, a lot of factors like we discussed can cause teachers to burn out easily. Feeling overworked, underpaid, unsupported, and lack of personal time, the trouble of work-life balance and not getting proper rest all are challenges in a teaching career. Overworking can even affect the most energetic teacher and this can impact the way they handle class too causing more serious problems.
Inadequate Funds: There are serious needs to have appropriate funding from the school, government and parents as well to do school many works and teaching strategies that are related to stuffing in every academic year. Teachers have noted emerging alarms about the inadequate financial and funding factors which will seriously affect the approach they wanted to take the class to the next level. And we have seen and heard issues of teachers ending up paying from their own money to ensure the faultlessness of their works and strategies is achieved.
Lack of current standardized way of testing students: Not every learner in a classroom learns in the same manner and alike is the matter with the case you assess them. Teachers would be keen to come up with different and creative ways of testing their learners and these methods may be originated after studying their learning need styles. But, if the school administration maintains standardized testing techniques, it will be a tough job for teachers to come up with the current way of assessing students. As this time of COVID-19 examinations and tests are not applicable, students should be given term papers to write and be marked after as the mean of assessing them as their final assessment at the end of the term. This powers them to leave their methodology of teaching and limits the choice of creative ideas to improve the learning progress of the learners.
Lack of Parental Career and Follow-Ups: Even if it is the teachers’ duty to provide learners with quality education, the process needs collective, cooperation, and mutual understanding of school management and parents. Parents should be working hand in hand with teachers to provide the best learning experience for learners. If parents are moving away from their responsibility, it can be tough for teachers to handle at least a few of the learners. So lack of parents supports, follow up and cooperation with teachers faces them to discipline the students.
Changing of Attitudes and Adopting New Educational Trends: This is one of the worst classroom challenges faced by teachers as educational trends have been constantly changing every year and it becomes serious in the time of the COVID-19. Schools are eager to adopt new technologies and tools to update new trends and ways of teaching and learning which are matching with contemporary educational issues. However, teachers are not taking the same effort to give proper training on how to use these new tools. Teachers will have to figure out how efficiently they can apply the new tools. This can cause in contradiction in their teaching methods and eventually often leading to hindrance and low job satisfaction for the teachers in the teaching profession.
Using A New Technology Programs Brought Along by COVID-19: Teachers are facing applying new technology devices and program in teaching such as usage of ding-talks, zooms, WhatsApp and skype, etc in bring together the students and delivering teaching and learning aids, due to lack of knowledge of using them and inadequate possessions of these devices which emerged during the COVID. Changing teaching and learning from the traditional way of learning from face to face learning to online programs is a bit tricky and tiresome because some of the teachers are illiterate in using ICT which is one of the biggest challenges in the teaching profession in the academic year of 2020/ 2021.
The limited discipline of Students: Not all students in a class may be well respectful. Some students give headaches to the teachers because the new issue of human right policy tied teachers hands, no more caning of students because to beat student is termed as “ Corporal punishment or human rightabuse” and human right became a problem to some of the teachers and in actual sense, it became human wrong. However, if teachers are forced to teach the same set of learners even in those unfriendly classroom situations, it can destroy their love for teaching. So handling class is a challenge to teachers since the law does not allow them to beat students. With this, it make teaching career getting tougher and tougher every day.
However, a timely involvement from the school management, the cooperation from students and parents can help teachers to give the best. A good flexible teaching platform can help them to better contribute to the education quality and success of students. Teachers also have to make serious efforts to tackle all these teaching challenges and contribute their best to the teaching world.
Ustaz John Garang Ayii Riak, the author is a holder of Master’s Degree in International Comparative Education from Zhejiang Normal University, China and a Bachelor’s Degree of Arts with Education from Bugema University; Kampala Uganda. He works as a Teacher at Dr. John Garang Memorial University of Science and Technology in Bor Town, Jonglei State. This article absolutely reflects his own opinion and not for the institution he works for. He can be reached at His email address: (email@example.com)
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