Challenges Of Teaching: Teaching is one of those admirable and respected professions across the globe. The relevance and input of the teaching profession to the society is enormous, for without teachers, the society cannot grow. The emphasis being laid on the imperative demands of education all boil down to direct demand on teachers. Just like every other profession, teaching is faced with a number of challenges which although may differ in intensity, but may not be utterly avoided because such challenges form integral part of executing the job.
Of course, teaching can occur in various levels, and even in places not designated for academics. Thus, learning can be formal or informal. But for the purpose of this work, challenges of teaching, although generally discussed, are particularly discussed with view of formal institutions at various levels.
15 Problems/Challenges Of Teaching
1. Inadequate emoluments and incentives: It is undoubted that teachers generally do not receive adequate pay for the overwhelming demands and the actual input in their job. The job of teaching is continuous. Asides the stress and skill of teaching in classrooms, there are other functions that are incidentally performed by virtue of being employed as a teacher. Such incidental functions are not put in consideration in evaluating the emoluments of teachers.
Teachers have to deal with a meager income amidst great life responsibilities and expectations. For instance, a lecturer in a university is expected to keep upgrading his portfolio and academic qualifications which cost a lot of money. He is expected to get to Phd level. These expectations may not be voiced out, but they are there and they form the basis for promotion of teachers and ranking. It is the emoluments that serve as motivating factor to teachers to keep being at the best in their job. When there is inadequacy as it is common now, it is tantamount to lack of incentives. Incentives extend to other working conditions which directly or indirectly guarantee better economic interests and other well-beings of the workers.
2. Maintaining updated curriculum: The academic system is evolving. The syllabus today may not be the syllabus tomorrow. There are a lot of developments and innovations ongoing. This makes it a task for teachers to be up to date with the curriculum. Teachers are therefore sanctioned by the nature of their job on a steady research.
When new curriculums are developed, it does not mind whether or not the teachers are skilled and knowledgeable in the area of development. This becomes a challenge for teachers to go on a voyage of further discovery in other to be able to teach students. In a case where they are unable to maintain an updated curriculum, it seems that nothing much can be done about it.
3. Marking and grading of scripts: Here is another difficult aspect of a teaching job. Marking and assessing the students can be difficult because, one, the standard of assessment has to be determined in a manner that is ordinarily fair and at the same time, adequate to all the students. It further creates an extra task.
Worse is the case there the classroom maintains a large number, or where the teacher teaches many classes or subjects.
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4. Patience to teach: It is possible for one to love being a teacher, but lack the patience required to become one. The job of a teacher is utterly defined by patience.
It takes patience to impact knowledge. There is need to prepare notes, structure and control the thought process of the students to think in the direction of the teacher and the demands of the topics being taught. A teacher in fact, takes charge of the mind of the students. It also takes patience to mark and grade scripts. This requires skill and patience. The patience is still required even with the little incentives.
5. Maintaining a one class: A teacher is expected to carry all the students along in a class where there are various people with diverse thought process and learning speed.
This is a challenge, and every teacher does face it.
6. Positive relationship with students: The relationship between teachers and students is generally and ethically expected to be in a certain way. There is need to build teacher-students relationship. This is an attribute of a good teacher.
The demands in this respect are there, and it is pivotal and reflects in the students’ learning ability. Positive relationship is therefore needed and not a hostile one. More so, boundaries must be drawn, for it makes up positivity as required in a teacher-student relationship. There is also need to treat all students with equality and avoid making your preference of students so glaring.
7. Managing time effectively: Effective time management is a common demand in a teaching job. There are a lot of functions expected of a teacher inclusive and exclusive of classroom activities.
The ability to manage time effectively in all fields of work is what determines success.
8. Corruption in promotions: Teachers in all levels of studies are graded according to level. The level determines the entitlements of the teachers. It is therefore the aim of every teacher to get to the top and retire at the top. Because of this personal need, corruption is bound to ensue.
The process of promotion can therefore be tampered with and the rights of another may be stampeded at all cost. There is also need to meet the requirement for promotion, and this may come in form of promotion examinations.
9. Inefficient communication skill: Effective teaching is substantially the exertion of one’s communication skill.
One may have the passion, qualification, knowledge and other skills for teaching but be missing out on communication skill which is of high importance.
10. Enforcing disciplinary standards and managing classroom behaviour: This is another function that is integral to carrying out one’s job as a teacher. This enforcement of disciplinary standards is seen in all levels of study.
It is a struggle for interest which may sometimes metamorphose into proper conflict. This is a challenge, because the teachers will have to enforce it anyway in order to maintain sane and conducive academic environment. This will enable the teacher to take charge of the class. Disciplinary standards are merely regulatory and cannot be completely complied with by students.
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11. Knowledge expectations: Even though this may not be voiced out, a teacher is expected to know it all. He is expected to be flawless in his exhibition of knowledge.
When this expectation is not met, the students tend to lose trust on the teacher, thereby undermining his intellectual capacity. Thus, there is a lot of expectation on teachers to know.
12. Administrative pressure: Just like every other field of work, teachers are greatly regulated both by the school’s administrative body and other regulatory bodies outside the institution.
This translates to a lot of demands to meet a particular standard which may be evaluated subjectively and not objectively.
13. Bulk of courses and workload: In many institutions, teachers take more than one course and more than one class.
This is s burden on the teachers and a call for concern.
14. Administrative functions: As somewhat implicated before, the job of a teacher does not end in classrooms.
Amidst the classroom tasks, there are administrative functions which are usually assigned to teachers. These administrative functions usually do not come with any extra incentive.
15. Theory-based study with no practical funding: It is usual to see that the academic systems in many places are theoretical as opposed to practical.
Even when practical in anticipated, there is need for funding, providing and maintaining the practical equipment which does not come handy. When this is the problem, it becomes difficult to teach practical concepts based on theory only.
Regardless of the challenges, teaching is still an interesting job as long as the passion exists. These challenges having been taking note of, and should they be worked one, will surely make way for a better working condition and better output.
Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka, ACMC, is a lawyer and a certified mediator/conciliator in Nigeria. He is also a developer with knowledge in various programming languages. Samuel is determined to leverage his skills in technology, SEO, and legal practice to revolutionize the legal profession worldwide by creating web and mobile applications that simplify legal research. Sam is also passionate about educating and providing valuable information to people.