448050911201448 4 Reasons Why Teaching is Challenging Right Now | Polka Dots and Protons - Interactive Science Notebooks & More

My goal is to make interactive science notebooks engaging for 5th grade and middle school science students while improving science test scores. NGSS expert, teacher, tpt author, mom, & widow

4 Reasons Why Teaching is Challenging Right Now

I am a positive person and I want to say that everything is great and I've got this. Unfortunately, it isn't that simple any year but these past couple of years it has become even more complicated.

Here are some reasons why:

1. Politics Are Involved- In California, the governor has mandated vaccines for children when they are FDA approved. Parents are understandably upset and many kept their kids out of school a day last week in protest. I am not the governor and I didn't choose a mandate for teachers, students, or volunteers to be vaccinated but I am the teacher in the classroom. I am on the front lines. I have been exposed while teaching in person these last two years. When several families chose to keep their students out of school to protest the mandate, the governor was not impacted but I was. It impacted the teachers in the classroom doing the best they can for students. Even over a week later, I am still working to get students caught up on their work and inputting grades as late work comes in. The students who came to school while others stayed home deserved to be taught so we didn't stop learning. 

2. The Rhetoric of Mental Health- Mental health is important for teachers and students. At school, there has been a lot of discussion about mental health but action that helps our mental health is often missing. Lightening the work load and administrative paperwork would help ease stress. Let's be real and specific about what would really improve our mental health. Less meetings and more helpful training would ease stress. I have so much I need to learn and I have asked for training, but I have been on my own to train myself on programs and curriculum.

3. Stress Makes Some People Snippy- Even though we are stressed we need to be kind to each other. Unkind words and actions add to everyone's stress. Most staff is amazing and encouraging to each other. We need to be sure we are doing our best to help our students, help each other, and not add to each other's burdens. Let's cheer each other on. 

4. Students and Staff Are Still Getting Sick from Covid-19 - I have had students in my classroom out this school year because of having Covid. One of my children had Covid recently. A relative's young child is currently hospitalized for MIS-C (multisystem inflammatory syndrome) a serious complication related to Covid. Illness is still spreading and this is not over. 

What is making teaching challenging for you? How advice do you have for other teachers?