Education: The Daily Challenges of Teaching

The next few blogs will be devoted to the current challenges and stresses that characterize teaching today.

Just one aspect of the daily grind? Dealing with undisciplined, under-parented children. There is bullying in the classroom and it is not what you think. Teachers and administrators are being bullied by children and parents who have been empowered to make unreasonable demands on the school staff.

Fear of parent or district office reprisal is driving the overall lack student accountability. There are many parents who believe the "school experience" should be a happy, fun, stress-free journey more like an ocean cruise than a learning environment. This mindset reflects the premise that if a child is failing or not happy, then it is the teacher's fault.

The problem with this view is that students who are not nudged out of their comfort zone grow very little. Overcoming challenges and obstacles is what empowers kids to be successful in life. Children who are not held accountable for grades or behavior draw already limited classroom resources away from the responsible students.

A culture of fear exists in our schools. Parents are afraid to discipline their children; teachers are afraid to make students accountable, and administrators are afraid of student/parental complaints. When the enabling stops, the children will thrive.

The next blog will deal with how micro-management limits creativity and exploration.