- Citing survey results from MeTEOR Education, Speak Up, the University of Phoenix College of Education and Front Row Education, eSchool News details nine of the top challenges facing teachers in the classroom.
- Among the top challenges are teacher shortages that lead to larger class sizes and "teaching toward the middle," schools being behind on implementing project-based and real-world learning approaches, and barriers (which include a lack of professional development) to meeting ed tech expectations.
- Additional challenges include work hours that, for some, top 60 hours a week, as well as out-of-pocket materials expenses that climb as high as $1,000-per-year for some educators.
A number of the challenges identified for teachers in the classroom can be traced to some of the top issues administrators are dealing with. The trouble that districts in many states are having when it comes to filling vacant teacher positions, for example, is well-documented. A number have submitted ideas and strategies for closing these gaps in their ESSA plans, including with stronger recruitment efforts and higher pay. The relatively low salaries that come with the field in many locales have long been a deterrent, especially when enticing highly-skilled teachers to take jobs in smaller rural districts, and it didn't help that classroom educators have also frequently taken the blame when top-down mandates had less than stellar results.
ESSA plans may also further address many of the concerns around progress on the implementation of project-based and real-world learning approaches, as well as ed tech.
Other challenges, like exceedingly long work weeks, may be addressed if many of the tech products seeking to handle rote administrative tasks regularly performed by teachers are able to live up to their value propositions. And for materials expenses, schools and districts can also seek to raise funds from any number of third-party sources, including crowdsourcing, to mitigate the impact on teachers' wallets.