March 16th, 2011
Teachers are some of the hardest working people with one of the most difficult jobs. Even though the education system has improved dramatically over the years, there is still plenty to complain about. And now that thousands of teachers' jobs are on the line and budget cuts are hurting schools, their complaints have only gotten louder. Here are the 10 most common complaints among today's teachers:
- Overworked: One of the top complaints among today's teachers is how much they are overworked. Teachers of all grade levels find themselves stretched to the max with heavy workloads and demanding expectations by administrators. Most teachers don't have enough time to devote to lesson planning and collaborating with other teachers. The majority of their work time is spent instructing students, which leaves only a few hours to do the rest of their jobs.
- Underappreciated: Today's teachers often feel underappreciated for their hard work and achievements. Most aren't looking to be named "Teacher of the Year," but they would like their efforts to be recognized by their bosses. Many teachers feel like they can't catch a break from the constant demands and criticisms from their higher-ups. Meanwhile, their accomplishments are often ignored.
- Underpaid: Another major complaint among today's teachers is their salary. Many teachers feel that they are significantly underpaid for the amount of work they do. On average teachers work about 190 to 225 days per year, and their salaries vary by state, school, district, experience and education level. However, the consensus is that teachers barely earn enough money to support themselves, let alone a family. A salary increase could be the key to attracting new talent to the profession and keeping the good teachers satisfied.
- Large Class Sizes: Teachers are up in arms over the growing size of classrooms. Large class sizes have made teachers' jobs even harder than before because they are now juggling more students, more distractions and more behavior problems. Students are also disadvantaged by larger class sizes because they don't receive as much one-on-one time with teachers, and they are more likely to get distracted by student disruptions.
- Student Disengagement: Another complaint among today's teachers is student disengagement. More and more, students are losing interest in school and feeling disconnected to their teachers. Whether it's the growing size of classrooms, limited one-on-one help or the lack of teacher effectiveness, today's students are still struggling with student engagement. Student engagement could be improved through parental involvement, smaller student-to-teacher ratios and more interactive lessons.
- Lack of Parental Involvement: Today's teachers are upset by the lack of parental involvement in their child's education. Parental involvement has a direct role in student engagement and success. When parents encourage their students to do well in school, assist with schoolwork, communicate with teachers and maintain an active role in their child's academic performance, students will have a better chance at succeeding in school. Parental support and involvement also helps teachers understand students on an individual basis, and makes them more accountable for their actions as well.
- Standardized Testing Pressures: For decades, teachers have complained about standardized testing and the pressures it puts on them and students. Teachers are overwhelmed by the pressure to meet state standards with test scores, which is then passed on to students. Teachers are also unhappy with the amount of time that's spent teaching test material, which interrupts the flow of the curriculum.
- Lack of Funding: Another big complaint among today's teachers is a lack of funding in schools. Teachers are going to be even more limited this year now that thousands of schools are facing deeper budget cuts. It's not uncommon for teachers to pay for classroom supplies on their own. A lack of funding has also taken a toll on school programs, student resources and technology that make a big difference in the learning environment and student success.
- Layoffs: As of lately, layoffs have become one of the biggest complaints among today's teachers, and rightfully so, because most of their jobs are on the chopping block. Teachers of all grade levels and subjects are at risk of being laid off, but first-year teachers are the most vulnerable. Teachers are especially angry because many school districts are cutting jobs based on the number of years they've been teaching and not by teacher performance or student achievement. This unfair layoff system may severely undermine the quality of education in American schools because bad teachers, who just so happen to be tenured, can slip through the cracks.
- School Schedules/Breaks: Another major complaint among today's teachers is school schedules and breaks. Some teachers want longer class periods or block schedules so they can devote more time to their specific subject, whereas, other teachers want shorter class periods so they don't lose students' attention. Teachers also have differing complaints about breaks and holidays. Some want shorter breaks that can be achieved through quarterly school years, because students won't be as disengaged as they would if they were gone for months at a time. Others want longer breaks with fewer one-day holidays throughout the year.
Did you enjoy this article?