Is this what our classrooms have come to?

A calculator goes flying across the room and smashes into the blackboard. A young girl points her fingers in the
Australia

A calculator goes flying across the room and smashes into the blackboard. A young girl points her fingers in the shape of a gun and shouts “bang bang” has she ‘fires’ at the man standing at the front of the room. This are not a scene from movie or a teenage boy’s video game. This is the modern classroom and the kind of behaviour our teachers are dealing with everyday.

Remember when we used to sit up straight in class, when teachers were treated with respect by their students and when they had a steady level of support from the government? Well that’s all changed according to many teachers around Australia who are throwing in the towel after years of stress and disappointment.

New research has found between 30 and 50 per cent of our teachers are resigning within their first five years on the job. They are citing a complete lack of support to deal with the issues in modern classrooms and the demands that come with it.

While teaching has never been an easy job – indeed the pressure and demand on teachers to live up to expectations and reach certain benchmarks has always been high – it seems these pressures have finally become all too much.

It’s not just happening in Australia either. Teachers around the world are dealing with unruly and disrespectful students without support from schools or governments. One American teacher even wrote a book about his experience in a New York high school where he had a large metal sharpener thrown at him by one student and was constantly berated and sworn at during class by others.

Australian primary school teacher Kimberly Crawford said she was exhausted by the challenges she faced in the classroom everyday.

“I was keen to stay in the education sector to a certain degree, but just really felt that I was emotionally burnt out from the demands of a classroom environment,” she told the ABC.

“There were a large amount of additional needs, I taught children with behavioural difficulties and a wide range of special needs.

“A lot of the time it was dependent on seeking out support yourself.”

Where teachers once received funding and support to go to professional development, now they are struggling to even find full-time roles. Coupled with the attitude problems from some children and the pressure to ensure students achieve high grades in exams, we have to wonder: is it all too much for a teacher to handle?

Have we lost control of our classrooms? Do you think teachers need more support in the classroom?

  1. Thomas  

    This is why I will never teach in Australia again.

  2. we sat up straight, learnt the work we had too,did our homework…. respected our teachers….and would NEVER have back chatted our teachers

    • I don’t know when you were at school or what school, but my classes were always more interesting than that.

    • Yes Leoni I had the same experience as you…
      No one dared backchat the teachers…Unheard of.

    • I agree we would not even think of back chatting our Teachers, Police, our Parents or any adult, it was not that you would not dare we just didn’t consider it, because we were taught respect and manners and were disciplined at home.

    • Talk to a few teachers from a range of sectors and you will learn that this is indeed true…. no support, behavioural issues, Principals with their own agendas. AND that is without all the interferences from parents.

    • Gail Riley  

      My friend in Canada is an art teacher and you should hear tell of what she is forced to tolerate!! Violent kids with special needs put in an art class where there are sharp instruments…a danger to themselves and to other children. Time spent monitoring these badly behaved is cheating the rest of the class of attention.

    • None of you answered my question – I asked for the source in other words “the writer. “

    • None of you answered my question – I asked for the source in other words “the writer. “

  3. We respected our teachers we learnt not to speak in class unless asking a question our teachers were strict but most of the times

  4. time for the teachers to be backed to the hilt by the government, the police, the law and for the parents to be held responsible for their children’s behaviour. Too many parents seem to be against the teachers and don’t punish their children.

    • There is no more respect for anyone. The parents should stand behind the teachers. I never had to go home and say the teacher punished me, my father said, maybe you deserved it, if you do what the teacher said you wouldn’t be punished, end of conversation.

      • Jan Edwards  

        That’s so true. Usually the teachers were right about many things and the parents in oblivion. My older son came to me and said. ‘Mum my teacher is terrible and today he threw a chair right at one of the kids” I said ‘What was the kid doing?” He was talking back and playing up and I am scared he’ll hit me” I told him to give the teacher the benefit of the doubt and to tell me in a month what the teacher was like then. A month passed. “How’s the teacher going?” He’s good, he’s pretty strict but I’ve learnt a bit”. How’s the kid going. “He’s been moved to another class. That son is now 42 with a family of his own and his oldest one in high school. Teachers have a tough job and most of the time they do it well.

    • Too true, going to high school many years ago we were always encouraged to challenge but never to disrespect. As one teacher told us we were the generation to go forward and find new challenges but to always respect other people’s point of view. To protest about what we believed in strongly and always try and be true to ourselves. I have never forgotten what he said but I don’t think a great many of today’s students would have listened.

    • Too true, going to high school many years ago we were always encouraged to challenge but never to disrespect. As one teacher told us we were the generation to go forward and find new challenges but to always respect other people’s point of view. To protest about what we believed in strongly and always try and be true to ourselves. I have never forgotten what he said but I don’t think a great many of today’s students would have listened.

    • What’s happening in the school and homes reflects what’s happening in the society at large. We have to understand that these young kids will be acting outside same as in the classrooms. If we want society to be at peace then it’s time for parents to act their roles. Remember “Education begins at home”

  5. Most kids of today’s generation not all have no decency or respect … We never disrespected our teachers and if that did happen we would get the strap or the cuts as we used to call it

  6. A teacher gave me this wonderful advice when I was embarking on my teaching career: “They’re like sharks, when they smell blood they’ll come for you”. He was right!

  7. Kelly Walters
    Not trying to sound negative but are you prepared!!!

    • Who knows?? But i wont know if i dont try? And you were the one who always said i should do teaching!!

  8. Definitely. These teachers not only have disruptive children to put up with but also their extremely rude and violent parents. As Leoni Ross stated we would never have thought of backchatting our teachers and i being a very talkative child was always being put in the naughty corner.

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