Many people have this misconception that teaching is a fairly comfortable profession. They’re like, ‘What is so tedious about giving lessons to a bunch of teenagers, and checking their exam papers? It should not be as tiring as a 9-5 job.’ Well, they are absolutely wrong. The teaching profession has a lot of aspects that make the job of a teacher really demanding. In fact, many teachers simply leave this profession as they do not want to deal with all the pressure that comes with the responsibilities of teaching. In this article, I would like to mention some of the many reasons why teaching is such a demanding profession. By the way, if you are a tired teacher yourself, here’s some motivation.
Dealing with Students
Trust me, dealing with children and teenagers is not easy at all. It comes with a massive responsibility, as a teacher is responsible for developing these young pupils to become fit for the cruel world when they grow up. Every single student is different, and their needs are different as well. A teacher has to identify the needs of every single student, and cater to those needs to make sure they can learn by overcoming the obstacles. Not everyone is born with the same talents. The same classroom can have a student who solves math problems like the next Alan Turing, and a backbencher who can’t do simple equations. It is the teacher’s job to pull the backbencher up, and instill confidence in him/her.
Examinations are the way to evaluate how much the students have learned during a particular time period. It is also an incentive for the students to stay in course with their lessons. Developing examinations needs a lot of work. An exam can’t be too difficult, so that students fail to answer the questions with what they have learned over the semester. At the same time, it can’t be too easy either, so that bad students don’t get good grades by taking shortcuts. It takes an enormous amount of time and effort to find the sweet spot.
Dealing with the School Administration
Believe it or not, a teacher has to deal with school authorities on a regular basis, and there are authorities that are not too friendly. For example, a teacher might just happen to receive a batch of students who are not too bright. Despite his best efforts, that particular batch of students might do horribly in their exams. There is a possibility that the school administration would like to hold the teacher accountable for such a disaster. Even though it was not the teacher’s fault, he may still have to take responsibility for the failure of his teachers. Receiving such a batch of students can brand one as a bad teacher, which is not fair at all.
There are times when rebellious students complain about a teacher they don’t like to the school authority. They also give false allegations about poor teaching methods and what not, just because the teacher wants to discipline them. Even though the school administration doesn’t hold the teacher accountable eventually, still it is really stressful to deal with such annoying problems.
Dealing with Parents
You have no idea how entitled some parents can be. I have heard of a lot of instances where an entitled parent put all the blame on the teacher for horrible grades of their ‘sweet little angel’, while the angel is probably Lucifer’s right hand. Things get even worse if the entitled parent is rich, or hold some sort of position of power. Oftentimes, such people believe that the world revolves around them, and they can have their way with everything no matter what. I personally know a lot of teachers who quit because they had enough of such entitled parents.
A Perpetual Learning Curve
Most importantly, teaching comes with a perpetual learning curve. You as a teacher is expected to know things, and be able to pass the knowledge on to your students. To do this, you have to study a lot in the first place. You will have to stay updated with new knowledge in your field, so that you can answer the questions of curious students. You will also have to live under a constant fear of making mistakes, because mistakes committed by a teacher are far more serious than people from other professions. If you say something inaccurate in your class full of students, they will learn the inaccurate information as well. That’s why teachers can’t afford to commit mistakes. Most teachers continue to study till the last day of their career.
Now you know why so many teachers are leaving their professions, and the ones who are still in it, are considering leaving. To keep teachers motivated, better incentive structures are required. Good teachers are gems, and they should be kept in the profession to build students’ future.