Those not in education have a lot to say about what is wrong in education, but we rarely hear from teachers about what they feel is not going well.
So we asked teachers what they consider to be the problems in education. Their answers may surprise you!
7 Problems in Education
1 – Not Enough Support
Teachers feel like there is not enough support for them from their districts, their administrators, the public, and other teachers. They are asked to do challenging jobs without the help and support that will make it easier for them to do what they’re being asked.
2 – Unrealistic Expectations
Expectations are high for teachers – especially those in special education. Managing large caseloads and still being tasked with writing, implementing, and tracking IEPs is unrealistic in a contract day. Something has to give.
3 – Lack of General Ed Support
To go along with the lack of support from other areas, the lack of support special ed teachers receive from those in the general ed classroom can often be lacking. For some, it’s because they don’t know how to support special ed, but for others, it’s a simple unwillingness or being overwhelmed themselves.
4 – Not Enough Staff
Teachers explained that one of the main problems in education at the moment is the shortage of teachers and support staff. If students have time with support staff written into their IEPs and there is no support staff available, it can pose a huge problem for the special ed teacher, as well as a legal problem for the school district.
5 – Too Much Paperwork
Paperwork abounds in education, but in special education, it is taken to a whole new level! Teachers expressed that the amount of paperwork and documentation needed for each student is so overwhelming that they often spend hours after work and on the weekends trying to catch up. It is unsustainable.
6 – Lack of Funding
Budget cuts don’t just impact what can be purchased for the classroom, they also impact who can be hired and how many hours support staff and aides can work. These limitations make it difficult to find highly-qualified candidates to do the demanding jobs that are so underfilled.
7 – Large Caseloads
Having a large caseload of students is one of the most obvious signs that the system is broken. A large caseload means that not enough staff has been hired to cover all students adequately. It means that for the teacher that is hired, there’s an exponential amount of paperwork, planning, and meetings – not to mention teaching, data collection, and parent communication – that must happen. A small caseload would eliminate the majority of the stressors that special education teachers feel.
While there’s no magic wand to fix the education system, it is important to understand and validate the perspectives of those who are actually in the field and doing the job. Their opinions should hold just as much, if not more weight as those who are typically heard in the media.
What is one problem you see in education today as a teacher? Share in the comments below!