It is increasingly harder for today’s teacher to do their job. Between unstable family situations, changing educational and curriculum requirements, loss of leeway in handling students, lack of respect for teachers and teaching, and competition for student’s attention, teachers face more difficulties in being good educators and maintaining enthusiasm for their job and their students.
Today’s teachers are called to fill a far greater role in the lives of children than ever before. Teachers not only have to teach the basic skills and knowledge to help prepare children for adult life, but they now need to educate kids about social and behavioral issues as well. Many teachers feel that many parents do not support their efforts by expecting their child to behave at school. Children need consistent messaging and discipline; so if a parent does not require responsible behavior at home or does not hold their child accountable at home, it becomes next to impossible for a teacher to get that responsible behavior at school.
Some children live in an unstable home environment. A large number come from single parent homes or homes where both parents work. Since these parents are often tired and stressed out, they find it easier to sometimes give in instead of remaining firm when it comes to messages, discipline and holding their children accountable. It also is impossible for a working parent to be able to supervise their children the way they may need to, especially older children. This lack of consistency and parental focus makes everything “negotiable” and devalues rules and expectations.
Since teachers are undercut in their authority by many parents, and the current climate in schools due to lawsuits and political correctness makes firm discipline very difficult, teachers do not experience the respect from their students and parents that they once enjoyed. It is hard to maintain order and focus among a group that does not respect your position and is not expected to by the authority figures in their lives.
One of the other challenges facing teachers is all the competition for children’s attention from other sources. Television, video games, texting, the Internet, sports, activities and cell phones all vie for children’s attention and time. Homework and studying can easily fall by the wayside. Teachers need to use other methods to keep students and parents aware and up to date. Services like GenieVOX by AllCom let teachers communicate with their students via a message center that can be accessed by students and serve as a reminder. Teachers can also leave a voice message for in all of their student’s message boxes that will go to their phone, text messenger or email, so there is no way they will not get the message. All of this is done through a series of private toll-free numbers, so individual privacy is maintained. There is no contract for this service and it only costs $4.95 a month.
While some of the challenges teachers face are beyond their control, like legal and societal issues, creating and keeping solid and open lines of communication go a long way in aiding teachers to do the best job they can for their students.