EDITORIAL: MORE EFFORTS SHOULD BE PUT TOWARDS RELIEVING TEACHERS’ STRESSEducators are being swamped by a myriad of problems in the new school year
Reviewing content from last year, Spanish teacher Geri Barnish teaches her Spanish II students amidst a shortage of teachers across the county. “We’re all exhausted, we can barely keep one thing in our books, and the demands are just so overwhelming. Eventually, teachers are going to be rebelling because the wages they are being offered are hard to retain,” Barnish said. Photo Credit: Rhamil Taguba
Last year was undoubtedly one of the most challenging years for teachers around the country. The raging pandemic forced teachers to upend their curriculums and teach remotely – a change that was difficult for many and nearly unbearable for others. The sudden transition from in-person to virtual learning, and vice-versa came with dozens of underlying problems which appeared along the school year. These problems have evolved to the point where staff shortages are becoming more noticeable by the month.
The core of this problem is year after year, CCSD continues to have hundreds of teaching vacancies, many of which are being filled in by long-term substitutes, which have their own hiring shortage. One could logically suggest this is because of any of the following reasons: teachers are being underpaid, their health care is in limbo, their salaries are weak, and they’re being burnt out from having to adapt to too many situations.
In other words, efforts need to be made to ensure that teachers and staff receive the pay and care that they deserve.
To start, healthcare problems regarding insurance and coverage for CCSD staff have developed to the point where doctors are denying them service due to non-payment. The Teacher’s Health Trust, a self-funded health insurance program responsible for 34,000 teachers and their families, reported a $43 million deficit for the 2021 monetary year. This forced CCSD to pay $35 million to support the system that would have otherwise collapsed.
Remember, teachers work five days a week, seven hours a day per their contract, and even more at home, unpaid. Considering the work they do and what they have to deal with daily, such as grading papers, giving lectures, monitoring students and even rampaging adults, the back-breaking work is simply being under-appreciated. The work deserves a raise.
And teachers are already burnt-out from having to learn how to teach virtually last year, learn the Canvas LMS, and then expected to return to teach in-person with only a three month break period. We’ve stressed our teachers out so much that a single summer break was simply not enough for recovery. These feelings combined with the gritty work make teaching almost impossible to do in this age – yet they still manage to do it.
Despite these hardships, many people have unreasonable expectations for teachers to “suck it up”, to “deal with it”. These nonsensical comments depict teachers as lazy and sensitive.
And with the ongoing discussion about “Devious Licks” between administration, teachers, and students, teachers now have the extra responsibility of monitoring the bathrooms and ensuring that students don’t take or destroy any school property. It’s ridiculous that teachers have to take the time and effort to correct silly and clout-chasing teens due to a TikTok trend.
Every society is dependent on education and the people who provide it – the entire world would be lost if we didn’t have teachers. Would you want to see the next generation of America screwing up everything we know today because they weren’t educated properly?
One thing is for certain though: teachers are just one of the many backbones that run our society. Without teachers, our education is destroyed and we may never progress as a society. Treating them right and acknowledging their problems is one of many steps we can take to appreciate them.