By: Diane Benjamin
Last night I saw a teacher in Florida comment on Facebook that teachers were leaving in droves. I asked her why, below is her response. Is this what teachers here have to deal with?
It’s not just Florida; it’s a nationwide problem. Student behavior is out of control. Many parents have not taught their kids proper behavior. Teachers are being assaulted or abused by students. I personally know two teachers who were punched in the face by students. A couple of weeks ago, a group of kids in Iowa followed a teacher out of school and beat her to death with a baseball bat.
Secondly, at many schools, admin will not support their teachers. Kids do no work all quarter, teachers do what they can, but cannot force a student to do his work. Teachers call parents to let them know, and the parents do not seem concerned. So, when the student fails, the parent is angry and calls the principal to complain and the principal tells the teacher to change the grade. No accountability for the student.
Student cussed out the teacher. Teacher sends him to the dean. Ten minutes later he’s back in the classroom disrupting the class again.
Fistfights between students in the hall or sometimes the classroom. Kids having sex in the bathroom. I actually de-escalated a situation that was heading to a fight in one of my classrooms.
Teachers want to teach, but with all of the disruptions and behaviors, it’s difficult. Many kids cannot learn because teachers are too busy dealing with behaviors. I found a way to work around that. It was pathetic, but at least the kids who wanted to learn, could learn. Then, to top it off, teachers are evaluated by how much a student has learned during the year. Under normal circumstances, it would make sense, but these are the new normal circumstances.
Last year was so difficult with Covid: no lunch break for teachers; no break all day. Teachers thought it would be better this year, but the behaviors are off the charts.
Teachers are leaving the profession in droves and going into the private sector where they are respected and have better pay.
I love teaching, but it is the hardest job I have ever had. I have had some of the most wonderful students and they are the reason that many teachers do stay.