Teaching is one of the oldest professions in the world. For centuries, teachers were well respected. Students would even travel long distances to learn under their preferred teacher. It used to be one of the most desirable jobs as well, but that has changed. In many parts of the world today, teachers make less money, receive fewer benefits and less respect than ever before—and that’s causing some serious problems.
According to the UK’s National Education Union, more than 80% of teachers polled were thinking about quitting their teaching jobs because of the long work hours. About 40% of those polled said they spend more than 20 hours a week working outside of school, putting a big strain on their health, relationships and families. As teachers become more and more exhausted, their ability and desire to teach well falls.
根據英國全國教師工會的調查，超過8 成受調教師考慮辭職，原因是工時太長。約有4 成受調教師表示， 下課離開學校之後，每週至少得花20 小時備課，對健康、私生活和家庭生活造成極大壓力。教師身心越來越疲憊，教學的能力與意願也就越低落。
Another major problem teachers face is low pay. This past August in New Zealand, teachers were so upset with their wages that almost 30,000 elementary school teachers went on strike. Though the government has promised to increase the teachers’ pay, the teachers’ union in New Zealand said it wasn’t enough. The cost of living in New Zealand has continued to rise, but teachers’ wages have not kept pace.
低薪是教師面對的另一個嚴重問題。今年8 月，近3 萬名對薪資待遇不滿的紐西蘭教師發動罷課。紐西蘭政府承諾調漲教師薪資，但教師工會認為漲幅不夠。紐西蘭教師薪水已經跟不上生活物資調漲。
New Zealand isn’t the only country where teachers are having a hard time paying their bills. In the US, 18% of teachers need to hold a second job outside of school. It’s not only their summer vacations that have been lost to working second jobs, but even the rest of their day after teaching. Some teachers even have to work as janitors cleaning the very schools they teach in.
If all of these problems weren’t enough, many teachers in the US feel they are not supported or respected. Schools are receiving less and less funding from governments. This loss gets passed down to the teachers who become responsible for buying their own materials. Parents are quick to blame teachers for their children’s behavioral problems. What’s more, teachers in the US face an extra difficulty: the danger of school shootings.
With all the problems that teachers face, it may be no surprise that we are running low on teachers! If this keeps up, by 2030, 33 countries will not have enough teachers to make sure every child gets a basic elementary school education, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The areas in the most danger are sub- Saharan Africa and South Asia.
教師處境艱困，也難怪教師缺額嚴重。照此持續下去，根據聯合國教育科學及文化組織（UNESCO）的推估，到2030 年，33 國將嚴重缺乏小學教師，影響基礎教育階段學生的受教權，情況尤以撒哈拉以南非洲和南亞最嚴重。