Top 10 Reasons To Leave Teaching: Number 1: Poor Behaviour

Of course, the number one reason to leave teaching is the atrocious behaviour of the students. I have heard arguments that children will always be badly behaved, and have been since the dawn of time, and that this is a fact of life. But I don’t believe that: the fact of life is that behaviour is and has been declining in standards in schools for a long time, a fact that more and more teachers are speaking up about.

I’m not talking about the shockingly bad individual incidents you see reported: teachers being assaulted, abused, punched, kicked and stabbed, although they have massive relevance here, and are increasing in number. What I mean is the behaviour of the vast majority of students is declining, the average way to behave in class is getting worse, and this is the number one reason why educational standards are getting lower and lower every year.

I recall a feeling in the staff room every morning of going to war against a vast unconquerable army, and having to get geared up to face the enemy. I don’t care what anyone says about working together to achieve a common goal, or that behaviour can’t be controlled, it can only be managed, because the one and only way to get ahead in teaching is to frighten the students into good behaviour. This is control.

Of course, teachers are held absolutely responsible for the behaviour of a child, when the actual responsibility could lie in any number of different places, including with the actual child itself for making poor behaviour choices. This is never formally acknowledged, and instead teachers must answer and are held accountable for the behaviour of their students.

Students know this, and there is a definite culture of placing blame at a teacher’s door instead of with yourself on their part. Coupled with limited powers for punishing children, absent support from more senior staff, and lack of communication between teachers, departments and organisations, kids are pretty much free to do what they want, mess up their lives, and teachers are powerless to stop it.

There is so much to write about here, and I could include the trend of teacher baiting, cyber bullying, damage to cars and other property, theft, verbal and physical abuse and a whole host of other travesties that have become commonplace in the life of a modern teacher.

At the end of the day, it is law that children go to school, and teachers are being made to uphold this law alone, with no powers, and with maximum penalties for them if they fail. No wonder they are being overrun. 

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