Teachers worst enemies!


Teaching is a very special job. We as teachers deal with many variables simultaneously. We deal with students needs, their achievements. We are also concerned with communication with parents and our colleagues. We care about the environment where we work and our professional development. Yet, sometimes, teachers face issues that constitute a hindrance to their job. Here are seven enemies that I thought of while reading Lindsay’s post about six villains in language teaching.

Seven enemies

  1. Boredom
    Boredom is one of the greatest enemies of successful learning. This happens , mainly, when students  know what will occur next because it will be the same as what happened in the previous session and a whole string of sessions before. To avoid this deadly boredom, teachers can follow some simple tips to create a lively atmosphere in the classroom. For example, teachers need to violate their own behavior pattern, vary their teaching methods, classroom setting…etc
  2. Overcrowded classrooms
    Overcrowded classrooms increase the possibilities for many educational problems. Students, in an overcrowded classroom lose interest in school and do poorly on tests. They don’t get individual attention and  learn badly  in an unhealthy environment where the teacher feels stressed and frustrated.
  3. Lack of cooperation
    One of the major problems facing education is the lack of teachers-parents cooperation as well as teacher-teacher cooperation. This yields poor performance at all levels. students lose a tremendous opportunity for development because of the lack of parents cooperation. Likewise teacher-teacher lack of communication results in poor professional and personal development.
  4. Being money-oriented
    When a teacher’s sole drive is to seek pecuniary interest rather than personal growth, nothing of value will emerge. Teaching is not about money; it is a job where you can fulfill yourself, develop your personal and professional profile.
  5. Poor working conditions
    The best teachers can be crippled by bad working conditions. Bad working-conditions include low salaries, lack of appropriate facilities, support..etc. Teachers need working conditions where they have adequate resources, a supportive staff, manageable class sizes, satisfactory wages to lead a healthy life…
  6. The textbook
    Yes textbooks may be one of the teachers worst enemies. They not only stifle creativity but also create monotonous teaching and learning experiences.
  7. Teachers mindset
    Detrimental results emerge when it is difficult to change teachers mindset about methodology, new approaches, the use of technology. 21st century teachers must be open to change. If we refuse change, our students will undoubtedly be ahead of us in this age of information technology.

If you can think of other potential enemies, feel free to post a comment.

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4 Responses

  1. Lind says:

    Good list. I’d add overly prescriptive assessment criteria from exam boards and having to ‘teach to the test’.

  2. Thanks for reminding us of the issue of tests. I recently appreciated a discussion in Kalinago about whether or not marks can ever be motivating to learners. I think you’re right about the danger of teaching to the test!

  3. Arbi Mchiche says:

    Dear Mohammed,
    Thanks for the list. No doubt, such a list can’t be exhaustive and I believe every teacher may come out with a new enemy that we, perhaps, haven’t had the chance to meet before. It just might be lurking somewhere within or outside of us.
    PERFECTIONISM is another enemy I want to add to your list. When a teacher wants everything he does or his students do to be perfectly perfect, this becomes a stressful problem. Teachers should cohabit with imperfection and consider it an integral part of both the learning and teaching processes. Much of teaching and learning is a trial and error dialectic; so we must develop a tolerance of both teachers’ and students’ pitfalls!

    Best regards,

  1. October 8, 2010

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