Overburdened class teachers in short supply

Most of us know the difficulty of being a teacher, but not all of us are prepared to associate the job with the risk of physical violence.

On the last day of this year’s college entrance examination (June 8), a class teacher surnamed Du from Lezhi Middle School, Sichuan Province, was hospitalized after being attacked by assailants summoned by one of his student’s parents, according to the Chengdu Business Daily.

The reason? Du once disciplined the student for playing with a mobile phone in class.

Most of us know the difficulty of being a teacher, but not all of us are prepared to associate the job with the risk of physical violence.

This might be one of the many reasons why an increasing number of teachers are wary of taking on the responsibility of supervising their students, so much so that some primary or middle schools are struggling with a shortage of class teachers. According to a research conducted by China Comment, a magazine published by Xinhua News Agency, three reasons may account for teachers’ low morale.

Class teacher’s heavy workload makes many teachers flinch. Perhaps as a result of instant communication, teacher responsibilities are no longer restricted to routine work hours. Social media tools could easily follow them home, at nights or into the weekends.

Nor are students as manageable as their predecessors. Some of them can be aggressive or self-centered, and are in constant conflict with each other. All these make class management difficult.

Some teachers complained that many parents tend to blame them for all kinds of issues. The playing up of some negative but isolated cases involving teachers also compromises the image of the teaching profession.

To boost morale, some schools have created incentives to encourage teachers to take more responsibility.

A state-run junior middle school in Henan Province agreed to add 100 yuan (US$15) per month to each class teacher’s salary as a bonus. However, that is totally inadequate compared with the workload.

Class teachers play a key role in students’ development. They are disciplinarians, mentors, counselors, supervisors, role models and planners. It has always been a tough job that demands huge commitment. Their contribution to the society should be properly acknowledged.


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