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Teacher Crisis Effects of Classroom Management

By jfennal Jun 21, 2005 1150 Words
Anything undergoing a crisis is said to be going through a crucial situation or turning point that will change for either better or for worse. This is what the education system is going through right now. This crisis is being known as the "teacher crisis." The cause of the teacher crisis comes from many things, all of which I will not be able to discuss. The main reasons that are more and more noticeable are: teacher stress, and a shortage of good teachers. This crisis has been around for many years and not much is being done about. This teacher crisis is affecting the lives of the students who are all forced through compulsory education to either go to a public, private, or even be home schooled. It is not fair that students have to deal with the teacher crisis when it affects their learning.

Children are very good at reading attitudes, especially when it is an "I don't care" attitude. When they get a sense that an adult does not care about them learning, they think, "Well why should I care." This is the reason for looking at the teacher crisis and its effects on classroom management. How does this crisis affect classroom management and what can be done to solve this issue?

Management according to the dictionary is defined as the act of directing and controlling the affairs of business. Classroom management however is not easily defined. Its meaning is so complex because there are many issues that are involved with this term "classroom management." These issues include classroom culture, students' legal rights and protections, and the teacher's duty of care. Classroom culture is the direct interaction in the classroom between teacher and student, student and student, and student and outside adults, such as a guest speaker. All students come to school with legal rights and protections. These rights are freedom; the right to express oneself through speech, religion, dress, etc., justice; the right to notice, fair hearing, and appeal, and equality; every student has a right to learn and achieve at their highest level of ability. The duty of care according to Landau is, "the heightened level of societal expectations for adult behavior in response to the circumstances of the situation and the level of professional responsibility." The essential question how the crisis affects classroom management may be answered more clearly by understanding each crisis in detail.

Stress within any person can lead to constant headaches, tiredness, fatigue, hair loss, etc. There are many factors that could be the cause of stress in an individual. One of the main causes is work. Work provides many people going home at the end of the day feeling worn out and stressed. This is especially true for educators. Teachers are the professional group that is mostly identified as being stressed. According to a nationwide survey the ten highly ranked sources of stress are: low salaries, problems with administration, overcrowding, drug use, one-parent households, lack of respect for teachers and other students, lack of public support, lack discipline, lack of student interest, lack of financial support, and lack of parent interest and support (Farber, 1991). These causes may be true but some seem as if they are assumptions as well. For instance, the lack of student interest may very well be an assumption because how do you know the student is not interested unless you asked. The student may have too many responsibilities at home that may affect their learning. When the teacher assumes the student does not have an interest in education he or she may not do the part in trying everything possible to help gain the students interest. Because the teacher is stressed he or she may come off to the student in a negative way which may bring on a power struggle. A student has a right to equality meaning the teacher has to maintain permanent value for all students, not bring that permanent value down because the student is not interested and is probably the cause of your stress. This is not the only problem of the teacher crisis. The other problem is the shortage of good teachers.

The shortage of good teachers refers to teachers who are teaching in the classrooms a subject they have not studied. For example, a teacher who studied and has a degree in history but is teaching math. It also refers to teachers teaching in a classroom who have no certification or was not even trained to be an educator. Parents are pulling children out of public schools and putting them into private ones for this very reason. Some of the teachers really do not care to be a teacher it is just a mere job or something to do. In some instances, professors are being forced to give grades that are not deserved. A former instructor at Wheelock College graduate school wrote, "When I was about to give one mediocre student a C, the dean interceded…pointing out the student's father was donor to the college and added we don't want to ruin the self-esteem of our future teachers. I struggled against….after a couple years I gave mostly A's like everyone else" (Troen & Boles, 2003). Every state has a law regarding certifications requirements, but because of the great need of teachers the teachers are put into classrooms regardless of qualifications.

Some statistics conclude that many districts hire unqualified people as teachers and also that more than 12 percent of all new hired teachers arrive in the classroom without any training at all, and another 15 percent enter without meeting state standards (Troen & Boles, 2003). There are things that need to be changed in order to try and get rid of this crisis that we are facing in education. In order to try and stop the crisis the states should really enforce the certification requirements. Everyone should be certified before becoming a teacher just as doctors have to have their medical degree before becoming a doctor. You do not want to risk your health to someone who is not certified as a doctor, so why children's education should be put at risk with teachers who are not certified.

I will manage my class by trying very hard to keep all of beliefs and assumptions separate when I am engaged in teaching to my students. I will try to use a democratic approach for rule making as it may seem it will be more efficient than the behaviorist approach.

Watson, Marilyn and Laura Ecken. Learning to Trust. Jossey-Bass Inc., San Francisco, Ca 2003

Farber, Barry A. Crisis In Education: Stress and Burnout in the American Teacher. Jossey-Bass Inc., San Francisco, Ca. 1991

Troen, Vivian and Katherine C. Boles. Who's Teaching Your Children? Why the Teacher Crisis Is Worse Than You Think and What Can Be Done About It. 2003

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