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All of the above posts offer some rather depressing facts about teaching. It would make you wonder why so many of us do it and love it, despite the challenges. I would add that teachers and the teaching profession are being scape-goated for all kinds of issues from failing schools under NCLB and the financial woes of states (such as Wisconsin claimed.) It is tough to be a teacher these days, but I still can't imagine doing anything else.
One of the hardships I see is the need to adjust lesson plans and create new ways to engage students especially if you are not in the same job as the year before. Changing plans for the many levels of ability and disability you find in a classroom with more than 32-35 students is difficult. Having taught in more that 7 different schools in 2 different states, finding a new job when your husband's job is moved can be intimidating. The constant moving keeps you creating as you change from a junior creative writing class to a seventh grade general English class to a ninth grade low level English class. So to me, the constant need to learn new course material, adjust for all levels, and create engaging plans can be very stressful in that it is a hardship in time and energy.
Many individuals look to teaching as a way to serve their communities while pursuing a creative discipline in teaching. In my experience, both these things do happen for teachers, but less than I personally expected.
The advent of a national set of standards in education and an increasing emphasis on standardized testing meant that in my last year there was one day of standardized testing for every nine days without tests. Considering the fact that teachers have to help students prepare for these tests in addition to proctoring them, the creativity of the discipline is compromised to some extent.
My first job was located in a book closet with no windows. I was the first ESL teacher in my county back then. It was extremely difficult to try and keep junior high students with no English ahead in the regular English classroom. Today, I am teaching the regular classroom and I often feel the same pressure of trying to keep my second language learners on the same page as the regular English learners. It is a challenge and well worth it when you see the light bulb come on and you know that your ESL students understand.
In addition to what other posters have said, the first couple of years new teachers spend most of the winter sick; you catch every cold and flu that is going around. The good news that goes with that is the fact that you get a lot of breaks; where most people only get one or two weeks of vacation when they are starting out in a career, teachers get three or four weeks off during the school year, plus summer vacation...which, of course, many teachers use to work a second job, since beginning educators do not generally make a lot of money. It's a job rich in rewards, but they are more emotional than financial.
Another hardship would be dealing with parents. This might be a parent who is convinced that their child very smart and that any deficiencies must be the fault of the teacher or a parent who is convinced that their child is never at fault in any behavaior issues.
One major hardship that is more expected than the previous post (that sounds really unpleasant!) is students who are not at all interested in your subject and may not be interested in school at all. This is something that you need to expect and be prepared to deal with. Otherwise, you will become extremely frustrated as you try and fail to craft lessons that keep everyone interested at all times.
This could be a long list.
However, I would put class size at the top of my list. I once taught almost 40 students in a room with 25 desks. I was prepared for a lot of the other problems in education, and I came in with few illusions. But I was not ready for the kinds of logistical nightmares that often made teaching effectively virtually impossible.
hey kimberrich2 thanks so much and i hope so to;-)
I think amount of storage space can be a huge hardship. You can have little room at all for any of your supplies and it makes your room very cluttered and that makes it difficult to find anything!
Good luck- hope you do not experience many hardships and that things go well!
thanks guys for inspiring views and experiences!
i highly appreciate it..
I assume that the constant marking of assignments and examinations could be considered as stressful and difficult, as there are workloads of student work that comes home almost every night for teachers! Some claim that that is what they're paid to do, but considering teacher pay is substantially low, is it really fair to say that?
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