By: Krystle Crossman
Finding a teacher that is in it for the long haul is becoming a rarity these days. They must contend with new technology, extremely intense testing that is required, new teaching methods, and larger classrooms. Teachers are dropping out of the profession because of all of these new requirements. They are finding it so much harder to do their jobs with all of the new methods that are being put in place. They are also finding it harder to teach with all of the mental and physical challenges that so many of the students are coming into classes with. Classrooms are a mix of students that are ready and willing to learn along with students who have to deal with extenuating circumstances such as homelessness and lack of sleep or food.
New teachers that are coming into the mix are realizing just how many hardships their students are dealing with. These different hardships make it very difficult for the students to learn even if they want to. They are tired because they are caring for others in their homes and are falling asleep during lectures. They are lacking food because their families are on fixed incomes. Lack of sleep and lack of food equal an extreme lack of concentration. This makes teaching very difficult. There is also the problem of time. Classes are on a restricted amount of time and teachers are not able to give students who are struggling one-on-one time and they are not able to deal with students who have behavioral issues without taking a large chunk of time away from the other students. All of this leads to students being punished left and right. This raises the dropout rates as well as the number of students that end up in prison after school.
Instead of punishing these students perhaps it would be more constructive to bring back Restorative Discipline. This means that instead of sending a student to detention questions should be asked instead. Some of these questions include why is the student acting like this, who is it affecting, and how can we help? This will let the student know that there is someone who cares about the issues that they may be having and also makes life easier for the teachers. The end result should be a better support system for both of the teachers and the students.