Problems encountered at the school setting
By April C. Barbosa
Our students consider their schools to be their second homes. And by claiming that, we teachers are now automatically their second parents. The purpose of our classrooms is to provide each student with a comfortable and safe environment while simultaneously emphasizing the importance of learning. However, whether we like it or not, teaching is a job just like any other. Neither a perfect classroom nor a perfect school exist. Along with all of the successes and victories of the students and teaching personnel, there are flaws and issues already present and so it is up to us to reverse their effects, and if not, we must be able to adjust to the issues that are currently present both inside and outside the four walls of the classroom.
In this piece, I’ll be discussing five of Grace Chen’s 10 Major Challenges Facing Public Schools published in May 2022 that, in my opinion, are equally pertinent to the educational landscape in the Philippines, notably at the Guinaban Elementary School where I teach.
First in line is poverty. Grace Chen mentioned that the highest dropout rates among students are typically those who live in poverty or less. According to studies, kids who don’t eat enough or get enough sleep won’t function as well as they can in class. Schools are acutely aware of these realities, and despite efforts to give pupils the necessities, teachers, administrators, and legislators are aware that there is simply not enough. This is also one of our school’s most typical cases. Students sometimes give up their education and work on sugarcane fields or look for other kinds of income because not every family is living in the most comfortable circumstances. And because some kids skip meals, consider how they could learn the concepts and topics being taught. I admire parents who always make sure that their children may bring lunch to class since I am aware of how difficult it is for them to truly provide for them in the given situation. Today’s blended learning is more likely to involve a situation like this. Parents would wait for their kids outside the school, bringing them packed lunches.
The second one is technology. Since the onset of the COVID-19 epidemic, technology has received increased attention. And while some teachers are still attempting to understand it and all of its functions, pupils can already do it in advance, especially on social media platforms. But according to NEA Today, the student’s fascination with technology also has a tendency to lead him to procrastinate on his academic work. Due to the popularity of Facebook, TikTok, and online YouTube video viewing among students nowadays, it is becoming quite common. Because of this, teachers and parents should continue to be extremely alert and collaborate closely, according to Grace Chen, even if technology must be introduced into the classroom to keep up with the expectations of 21st-century learning. The idea that education comes before fun must be followed not just in the classroom, but also at home.
The third problem is about classroom size. In several parts of the United States, according to Chen, there are practically too many students for the available classrooms already. A study published two years ago at NEA Today described how schools in Georgia, which were experiencing significant financial reductions, were forced to eliminate all class size restrictions in order to accommodate kids with the faculty that the school administration could still afford to retain. Imagine that if this issue occurs in the US, a first-world superpower, how much worse must it be in the Philippines? There was a time when two of my colleagues had to divide the classroom in half in order to make room fortheir respective classes. On the other hand, another schoolteacher was also forced to use the bahay kubo-style classroom to teach her pupils. I absolutely believe that the government should be made aware of instances like this in order to use and allocate resources in the educational sector, wherever they are already investing in the students who will make up our nation’s future.
Fourth is bullying. According to the aforementioned article from the US, social networking, texting, and other virtual connections have offered bullies more ways to afflict their victims than ever before. The number of suicides that can be directly linked to bullying incidents shows that cyber bullying has grown to be a significant problem for schools. But things are not so horrible in the Philippines, especially at our school. The majority of pupils still just know how to play and stream videos online because they are in primary school, so they are not yet accustomed to using technology, so their bullying is somewhat more straightforward but verbal. And that’s where we teachers’ intervention comes in. And in this situation, addressing inappropriate or off- task behavior swiftly is a classroom management approach that can be applied.
Finally, student attitude and behaviors. It is not unusual to have kids with not so good attitudes. That is why we should have more patience in dealing with these kinds of students. Based on a National Center for Education Statistics poll, teachers have serious difficulties due to issues including student disinterest, tardiness, rudeness, and absenteeism. In contrast to the basic grades, these problems were more frequently observed at the secondary school level. However, in my experience as an elementary school teacher, only a small number of my students have this type of issue. Even if that is the case, teachers still need to respond quickly and take initiative when the aforementioned problem arises.
In conclusion, no matter how good the school is, no matter how much effort teachers put into our profession, there will always be problems that will arise. As for me, teachers should have as much strength, will, and drive in the profession that they have chosen. Being flexible under pressure and having patience with students, as they will all put your moral integrity and personality to the test. I firmly believe that teachers’ parts play a critical role in kids’ character development. We develop and nurture them in a manner similar to what their parents do at home, coupled with the subjects and ideas they will require in the future.