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Teachers under stress. What can we do?

What a sad state of society it must be where 70% of teachers do not recommend teaching as a career? (source : Tes). Teachers are under stress due to workload and stagnant salaries. At work, the stress is increasing due to bureaucracy in the form of assessments by Ofsted. Whilst, assessments are useful to keep up consistent standards of teaching throughout the country, they could become a burden when the criteria is drafted by people not necessarily from the teaching profession and complex checklists have been formulated so that the assessor could justify their time and effort. This results in the assessors often splitting hair and end up criticising even the minute detail. The teachers on the receiving end, under observation, growing anxious ends up making more mistakes than they usually would and this leads to a far worse score than deserved. If assessments genuinely improved results then the UK would not be seeing a decline in world ranking year on year. This is not to conclude that assessments are completely useless and should be scraped however their ways of measuring and effectiveness do deserve a round of review, so that we are not merely assessing for the sake of assessing.

Besides, assessment there are other powers at play including colleagues competing for promotions, bullying from the superiors and more recently cuts in education. Schools are struggling to balance books and many of them have had to request donations such as toilet rolls and stationary from parents in order to function on a day-to-day basis. Teachers who are already on a frozen pay are having to dive into their pockets to plug the gap the Government has left behind. Teachers don't sing their own praises and the students nor their parents ever find out about the fact that the faculty are privately helping the schools. A small proportion of students who insult their teachers do not realise the sacrifice being made to educate them. How disheartening must it be when you are putting in more than your fair share into the system and the end result is abuse from the ones you are helping?

Things become more and more expensive every year, which is the nature of economy and is otherwise known as inflation. However, when your income does not keep up with inflation, this means that your take home pay is the same but the bills are going up, then it becomes a little tricky to manage your life especially if you are one of the teachers who is having to subsidise the cuts in education, as stated above. This puts strains on the home life and is one of the causes of arguments in such families.

Overall, people continue to leave this profession which only means one thing that the future of our generation is in jeopardy. However, the ones that remain face crushing blows. The Government will come around one day, with better budgets however as citizens of the country we can also help ease the situation. Perhaps in the form of better parenting and empathising with the teacher rather than being overly critical when attending parents meetings.

Reasons why teachers are under stress:

1) Assessments

2) Cuts in Education- school budgets

3) Stagnant pay

4) Disrespectful students

5) Bullying


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