As a former public school classroom teacher, I understand the challenges confronting today’s teachers. Acknowledging and addressing these frustrations, challenges, and desires is crucial to create a more positive and effective education system.

When I retired from the military, I chose education as my second career. I remember my first years were a whirlwind journey. My most vivid memory was how much work teachers completed outside their classrooms. I would spend three to four hours every night and on weekends preparing my lessons and grading lab reports, homework, and assessments.

While I love engaging and experiencing “lightbulb moments” with my students, it was exhausting. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk said, “A good teacher is like a candle, it consumes itself to light the way for others.” As an educational leader, my goal is to create conditions for success for students. However, student success begins with having a great teacher in every classroom.

How do we recruit and retain great teachers? It begins with acknowledging and addressing the challenges facing teachers today. Why is this important? Because every profession starts with great teachers. So what are the significant challenges facing today’s teachers?

One significant challenge that public school teachers face is the lack of resources. Teachers must often work with limited resources, hindering their ability to create engaging and impactful lesson plans. Therefore, providing teachers with the resources required to make a productive learning environment that captivates students’ attention is essential.

High-stakes testing is another challenge that teachers face. While accountability is a critical component of education, some teachers believe it can limit their creativity and may prevent teachers from adapting their teaching methods to individual students’ needs. We must reduce unnecessary testing and allow teachers more flexible teaching strategies to promote creativity and adaptability.

Managing disruptive student behavior is a significant pain point for many teachers. Classroom discipline is critical for ensuring a positive learning environment, but dealing with disruptive behavior can be emotionally draining for teachers. Providing teachers with support for managing disruptive behavior can help improve classroom discipline and create a more positive learning environment.

Teacher workload is another significant challenge that teachers face. Teachers are responsible for many tasks, including grading papers, planning lessons, attending meetings, and completing administrative tasks. Therefore, we must find ways to support teachers and help them manage their workload to prevent burnout and promote work-life balance.

Finally, addressing low salaries and inadequate benefits is essential for attracting and retaining high-quality teachers. Providing teachers with competitive salaries and better healthcare benefits can help create a more positive and effective education system.

Acknowledging the frustrations, challenges, and desires that public school teachers face in education is crucial. By addressing these challenges and providing teachers with the necessary resources, support, and opportunities, we can create a more positive and effective education system that benefits both teachers and students.

“A country that fails to value its teachers fails to value its future.”

-Davis Puttnam

Let us work with our teachers to create a better future for the next generation.


Are you a classroom teacher, school administrator, or central office staff member looking for educational guidance? Then join me for the Moore Leadership Moment on YouTube.

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Dr. Kim Moore

About the author

I'm Kim, your Educational Leadership Guide. I equip educational leaders with research-based and experientially learned educational leadership principles and best practices to promote student success.