A new year brings a whole new set of challenges. After several weeks of summer break focused primarily on rejuvenation and relaxation, it's difficult for teachers to remember to take care of themselves during the academic year when their responsibilities and schedules become so demanding. Maintaining a work and personal life balance can be particularly difficult with towers of marking, strict report card deadlines and hours of planning and differentiated instruction that is required in order to reach every student.
Four of the most common challenges faced by teachers at the onset of a new academic year are:
1. Acquisition of resources. With a budget in mind, it is not easy to acquire the appropriate types of resources or the correct amount of materials needed. Teachers also have to consider that some of their treasured resources will be lost or broken before the end of the unit, so spares will also be necessary.
2. Differentiated instruction. By the end of the academic year, teachers know the intricacies behind how each individual student understands and learns - both strengths and weaknesses. At the onset of a new academic year, teachers are presented with an entirely new group of students. Determining how to reach each student effectively requires planning, trail and error, and dedication.
3. New technology. Bringing new technology into the classroom requires both research, patience and innovation. Teachers need to investigate the latest trends, teach these programs to themselves and then teach it to their students. These methods often bring learning to life and provide alternate pathways for students to learn.
4. Time management. It's easy to become so preoccupied with planning, teaching and assessing that teachers often forget to take time for themselves. By not setting aside time for family, friends and personal hobbies, teachers run the risk of burning out.
All of these challenges require teachers to wear multiple hats, which can be both overwhelming and exhausting. It's extremely important for teachers to recognize these obstacles and identify strategies to overcome them. Here are a few suggestions:
1. Talk to your colleagues. This is particularly important if a teacher is taking on a different year group. Sharing resources and ideas with colleagues will make the acquisition of resources or implementation of technology much easier. Collaborating with other teachers will not only decrease your workload, but it will also establish a firm bond between you and your colleagues.
2. Research online. The internet has become an extremely important resources for teachers. It is a forum to share your ideas and strategies, as well as your successes and challenges in the classroom. It brings together teachers from countries all over the world to shed light on how students from different cultures learn and grow.
3. Organize your schedule. In any profession, there will always be deadlines and pending projects to complete. Teachers must create a clear division between personal and work life priorities. By taking on too much, teachers often forget to schedule in time to spend with their family and friends, to relax, or pursue their hobbies and interests. To avoid teach burnout, teachers must remember to prioritize themselves and take a breath.
Best of luck to all teachers in the upcoming academic year!
Learnt more about the most common challenges faced by teachers. Thanks for sharing!!