May 9, 2022

Collin Srijayanta: Demoralization in the classroom and how it cripples the art of teaching

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In this op-ed for the Citizen Times, a student at Western Carolina offers his view of an educational crisis.

Can you recall a time where you felt underappreciated, unheard or ignored? What about a time where you felt a lack of control or trapped? This is the face of demoralization. This is the reality for teachers in our education system.

The role of the educator in America is in a state of crisis. Teachers across the nation are reporting very low satisfaction with their job and dropping out of the profession entirely regardless of experience. The culprit: demoralization. It’s often argued that teachers are “burnt out,” and if they quit their job, they must not really love teaching. This is demoralization. Teachers are not heard, and their opinions are not voiced. Any and everything they can be blamed for, they will be.

Guidelines and protocols make schools feel incredibly robotic and systematic. Budgets get cut shorter and shorter. This has a cascading effect on our society, building a generation of children going through a toxic education system as well as a league of teachers going home feeling soul-sucked. This demoralization takes away from our children’s education, which strips them from their dreams and opportunities. I argue that a teacher that maintains autonomy of the classroom leads a class that I believe to be more successful. I argue that I would’ve received a more impactful education if teachers were given more autonomy of their classroom, treated equally at board meetings (meetings quite literally about their own job), given opportunities to express their ideas and lastly, just appropriate budgeting.

Read the full op-ed here.

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