Classroom challenges are one of the adequate problems faced by teachers and a good teacher has the courage to overcome all these challenges bravely.
Some of the common classroom challenges faced by teachers include lack of teamwork, minimal personal time, working towards long term goals, arguments and student excuses, etc.
Addressing these common classroom challenges can not only help to improve teacher retention rate but also enhance success rates of student and the ultimate quality of education.
Here we can have a look at some of the top classroom challenges faced by teachers in the present education scenario
1. Lack of Time for Planning
Unlike in the past when teachers can’t just finish off their syllabus and typically evaluate the students.
The situation is more challenging today. They will have to handle multiple roles in the classroom.
Updating the subject to new demands, correcting materials, content presentations, managing field trips as well as bringing in new creative approaches to meet the present educational trends are a few among them.
Teachers are finding it really challenging to handle multiple roles as they lack enough time for planning.
Preparing, planning and executing tasks expected out of them add a lot of pressure and the lack of time doubles it.
2. Lot of Paperwork
In addition to preparing quality teaching content, it is common for school management to hand them with many additional roles including psycho-educator, social worker, counsellor and a lot more.
Building reliable statistics and preparing and updating student growth indicators are one of the important classroom challenges they have to handle in addition to teaching notes. Such excessive paper works take a lot of time out of their regular schedules. This can seriously impact the quality of work they deliver.
It is seriously challenging for them to handle all of this without giving space for criticism. It can take a toll over their health and many are finding it difficult even to have a proper work-life balance.
3. Performance Pressure from School Administrators
Unlike in the past, there are serious competitors in every field and the situation is no different in the teaching career.
Everyone is being challenged always to give out their best because a better person is knocking on your role. This causes a lot of pressure from school administrators to perform well every time without leaving any point of blame.
A teacher is now accountable for the win percentage of the class, the lines of the student growth indicators, and even the disciplinary factors of the class they handle. Being accountable for a number of roles other than quality teaching is sure to put on a lot of performance pressure on teachers.
4. Balancing Diverse Learning Needs
Let it be any school, the type of students in a classroom will be different and they will have diverse learning needs.
Satisfying all of them in the same way while approaching a particular curriculum will be a serious challenge.
Nowadays, teachers are trying differential teaching strategies to satisfy a slow learner and quick learner.
So they will be forced to bring in a lot of creativity and diverse strategies which in turn require additional preparation time. However, once you learn to come out of it, it will, of course, be an empowering experience for your career and for the benefit of the classroom, as well.
5. Handle too many masters
They are of course in the middle of many ‘masters’ like parents, students and school managers. Satisfying all of them in the same meter can be a serious challenge for them.
A management that is not supportive, a class of students who lack teamwork and parents who are complaining without understanding can make the job tough for them.
Also, there can be arguments or even fights between these ‘masters’ and taking a stand to solve the situation can be a bit worrying for them at least a few of the times. They will have to make choices between fairness and survival at times.
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6. 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 kids and youth which keeps you young.
At the same time, a lot of factors like we discussed can cause them to burn out easily.
Feeling overworked, unsupported, underpaid, lack of personal time, the difficulty of work-life balance and not getting proper rest all can result in burnout.
Overworking can even affect the most energetic teacher and this can impact the way they handle class too causing more serious problems.
7. Lack of proper funding
There needs to have proper funding from the management and parent funds to successfully work out many teaching strategies and related stuff during an academic year.
Teachers have seen raising concerns about the lack of funding which can seriously impact the way they want to take the class forward.
And we have heard cases of teacher ending up paying from the pocket in order to ensure flawlessness of their strategies.
8. Limitations of standardized Testing
Not every student in a class learns a subject in the same way and similar is the case with the way you evaluate them.
Teachers would be eager to come up with creative ways of assessing their students and these approaches may be initiated after studying their learning styles. However, if the management insists on standardized testing methods, it will be a tough job for teachers.
This forces them to shift their approach of teaching and limits the scope of creative ideas to uplift the progress of the students.
9. Lack of Parental Support
Even when it is the role of teacher to provide students with quality education, the process is only complete with the cooperation and understanding of parents and school management.
Parents should be the ideal working partners of teachers to provide the best learning experience for students.
If parents are stepping away from their responsibility, it can be tough for teachers to handle at least a few of the students.
That is one reason why today teachers are taking initiatives to set up a meeting with parents and communicating them through apps so that they can have an eye on the progress of their child.
10. Changing Educational Trends
This is one of the worst classroom challenges faced by teachers as educational trends have been changing every year. Schools will be eager to adopt new technologies and tools to update new trends.
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However, they may not take the same effort to give proper training to teachers on how to use these new tools. Teachers will have to figure out how effectively they can utilize the new tools.
This can result in inconsistency in their teaching styles and more often leading to frustration and low job satisfaction.
11. Limitations of Disciplining Students
Not all students in a class may be well mannered or respectful. There can be some cases of serious disrespect towards teachers and the rules safeguarding students can be a headache for teachers.
Teachers have to look into the lawsuits and double-check it before you respond as things can turn against you in unexpected ways.
However, if they are forced to teach the same set of students even amidst an unfriendly classroom condition, it can kill their love for teaching.
12) Lack of Self-Time
The whole day long teachers do multi-tasking for an effective teaching-learning process. And often teachers are forced to neglect their own bodies. They won’t go for refreshments in between. There are even hectic days, where they even skip lunch.
13) Teachers Working too many roles at the same time
More than a teacher, he/she should take up the role of a social worker, counselor, psycho educator, or more at times. They are expected to shoulder different roles throughout the day.
Most of the teachers feel that they are compelled to adopt these roles themselves though they are not trained for these.
He/she willingly take up these roles only because they care for their students more than themselves.
14) Teachers being made responsible for more than they should
Most of the time, teachers don’t feel that the responsibility is equally shared between them, parents, and students. Unfortunately, they will have to bear a lot of responsibilities on their shoulders.
15) Applying a prescribed curriculum to all types of students
It is a known fact that each student is different. But problems arise when a specific curriculum is prescribed for all students. The pace of understanding a concept differs from child to child.
Situation turns crucial when teachers are expected to apply a fixed curriculum to students with varying needs.
Teachers also don’t get enough time to tailor content appealingly as per the needs of students
16) Inspiring Students to be More Self-Directed
Teachers face a hard time in getting students to be more self-directed.
They are looking for ways to reduce the pressure of students by evoking interest and curiosity in young minds.
They cross-check whether lessons are taught in a convincing way, homework is delivered systematically and is accessible anywhere, etc.
17) Differentiating and Personalizing Teaching
What works for one student does not work for the other. Teachers are clear about this and are looking for newer ways to analyze and evaluate different skill levels.
Media- enhanced exams, newer question types, etc are some of the changes that teachers are looking for.
Diversifying teaching methods, but keeping it simple is the right solution, but it is hard to execute.
18) Getting Students to do Work Outside the Class
Learning does not take place in a classroom alone. It should be extended beyond classrooms. What students are learning from schools is just a fraction of their academics.
Teachers have added pressure of having students to put in the extra effort of making the learning process outside the class.
19) Textbook Exposure to learning
Teachers are informed to follow the textbooks and teach by keeping a vision on final exams that the students have to go through.
This led to a situation where teachers teach and students learn only what is prescribed in the textbook.
Resorting to this, limited knowledge space is going to be hard in the long run.
The limited exposure in learning makes a huge gap between what is required from students and what knowledge they possess to tackle concerns.