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  #1  
Old 03-22-2013, 11:08 AM
ianhook1 ianhook1 is offline
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Czech Republic
Kindergarten Teacher
Problems in teaching

Hi all,

I would like to know the biggest problems facing teachers today in the classroom. Specifically I am interested in admin, curriculum, time management, pupil management etc. I am also interested in the management of mixed ability classrooms and pupils with specific learning needs and how teaching is impacted by outside pressures like government programs etc. but any problems you have would be fascinating for me.

In the interests of openness I am an ex-head teacher now working for a project in schools to try and reduce the biggest problems in teaching today. If you can share maybe (eventually) I can help!

If your story is too long to post openly (or you are not comfortable) please PM me.

Thanks,


Ian
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  #2  
Old 03-22-2013, 11:22 PM
EMonkey EMonkey is offline
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1st Grade Teacher
Well, in the United States I would say the biggest problem is very wealthy people who have no experience in education who are trying to dictate inappropriate reforms and are often allowed to because they have tons of money.
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  #3  
Old 03-23-2013, 10:24 AM
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stephenpe stephenpe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EMonkey View Post
Well, in the United States I would say the biggest problem is very wealthy people who have no experience in education who are trying to dictate inappropriate reforms and are often allowed to because they have tons of money.
Pretty much. And the fact everyone went to school so that small segment that have tons of $$ and political power and the egos to believe they have the answers. The perfect storm. Oh, and I forgot the absolute total lack of respect for teachers in general. I mean why would anyone take a job like that when they could go make real money with "prestige" and perks..........................I will take my perks in smiles, hugs and aha moments any day. Just saying.
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Old 03-23-2013, 01:19 PM
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catnfiddle catnfiddle is offline
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Central Ohio
Online English Teacher
We have had our freedom to teach to the students taken away. Instead, we are teaching to the test. I have no problem with being told what standards need to be in my classroom. However, I hate that we are not trusted enough to assess that those standards have been attained. Instead, our students must complete a rigid set of mostly multiple-choice questions with a few short-answer ones thrown in. Because of this, we must engineer our classes to show students how to read the questions we didn't write and pick an answer from four options we didn't choose. It throws our ability to scaffold, differentiate, and independently assess out the window.
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  #5  
Old 03-26-2013, 10:01 AM
ianhook1 ianhook1 is offline
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Thanks to everyone so far, it is really helpful and I think we have some good ideas to address some of the issues brought up.. If there are any more suggestions/comments/complaints I would be really grateful if you shared them!
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  #6  
Old 03-26-2013, 11:14 AM
Go Blue! Go Blue! is online now
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Maryland
US History & World History
My biggest problems have to do with the non-teaching/education factors that seem to interfere with the actual teaching in the classroom. I teach in the urban, inner-city and spend the majority of each class period dealing with issues related to "disruptive behavior" and "apathetic behavior." This is common in my school and across my district (I have taught at 3 schools in my distirct) and until these behavioral issues are addressed EFFECTIVELY, I fear my district will remain at the bottom of the heap when compared to the other districts in Maryland.

By disruptive behavior, I mean everything from minor things - like cursing and verbal disrespect - to fighting and physical altercations (between students or students and teachers) to more severe things. What I have found is that my district does not like to suspend students for behavior problems because our CEO (superintendent) thinks high suspension rates make us look bad (we are already seen as one of the worst districts in the state) and that kids do not learn anything from being out in the streets all day, instead of in school (which is true). Thus, we have kids commiting acts that would get them expelled in other districts, but in my district they are given an ISS and then sent back to class the next day. These kids are constant disruptions and ruin the learning expierence for everyone else.

By apathetic behavior, I mean the kids who are apathetic or even hostile towards learning/school or come from homes (backgrounds) which make it difficult for them to care about school/education. When kids are homeless or constantly moving, hungry, living in a state of constant turmoil, it becomes easy for them to stop attending school on a regular basis or they may come to school but do nothing while there.

Until we address these behavioral issues (their causes), I think that districts like mine will make little progress. Hiring "better teachers" is always great, but until you change the mindset, attitude and behavior of some of these kid and their parents, we won't see great strides in some of America's tougher districts.
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  #7  
Old 04-02-2013, 06:00 AM
ianhook1 ianhook1 is offline
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Anything more the world of education in America has to say..?
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  #8  
Old 04-02-2013, 09:41 AM
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Rockguykev Rockguykev is offline
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California
Social Studies
Fear.

Teachers are afraid to speak out. Admins are afraid of parents. District people are afraid of their own shadow. Too many people are afraid to just stand up and do what is right for kids. We talk the talk constantly but so rarely do any of us do anything for fear of repercussions.
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  #9  
Old 04-02-2013, 01:34 PM
TeacherGroupie TeacherGroupie is offline
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I'd say it's fear compounded with disrespect: within and across levels, people simply don't trust each other to be competent and to get the job done properly.

In the military, any commissioned officer automatically outranks any non-commissioned officer - but a senior NCO has to have talent, grit, and training to acquire all those chevrons on the shoulder; only the greenest of officers is going to act disrespectfully toward a senior NCO, and if she has any sense, she won't pull rank on any NCO ever again without a very good reason.

I think the mistrust is endemic: it goes in all directions, on all levels. I've heard an education professor carefully instilling in future educators the expectation that they would inevitably fail their teacher tests and that that was exclusively a reflection on the tests, I've heard district administrators griping about teachers' lack of initiative while deliberately hiring for docility, I've read way too many accounts here on these pages of districts mandating mindless fill-in-the-bubbles prep because they expect no better of the teachers they've hired and way too many other accounts of teachers subtly or unsubtly sabotaging each other and their administrators.

I think the only way to change this successfully is going to be local, and probably from the roots up. Would to God I knew how to make that happen.
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  #10  
Old 04-04-2013, 07:55 PM
GeetGeet GeetGeet is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EMonkey View Post
Well, in the United States I would say the biggest problem is very wealthy people who have no experience in education who are trying to dictate inappropriate reforms and are often allowed to because they have tons of money.
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