Teachers have numerous distractions to compete with in the classroom. Many students are more interested in checking their text messages than in paying attention, and they lack respect for authority and motivation. The absence of parental involvement makes the burden on teachers even more onerous. Teachers have limited options for disciplining students for fear of lawsuits. In spite of all these difficulties, committed teachers continually look for solutions to these problems.

Apathy

Lack of interest in the subject matter creates boredom.
Lack of interest in the subject matter creates boredom.

Many young people do not see the value of an education. Often students fail because they lack the motivation to work up to their potential. These students are the most frustrating to teachers, according to Alex Gehar of the Oshkosh West Index. One strategy teachers can use is to try to find out what their students are interested in and to help them form goals based on their interests. Teachers need to encourage their students to think about how their actions will affect their future.

Disrespect

Students are growing up in a culture of disrespect for authority.
Students are growing up in a culture of disrespect for authority.

Disrespectful behavior in schools across the country is widely recognized. Young people see examples of disrespectful attitudes towards teachers on television and in the movies. To combat these negative portrayals, teachers need to encourage parents to become involved in their children's education. Building rapport with parents will encourage them to teach their children to respect their teachers and value their education.

Lack of Parental Involvement

Students are more successful when parents support teachers.
Students are more successful when parents support teachers.

Parental guidance and cooperation with teachers is essential for students' success. However, teachers have a difficult time getting parents involved because many parents lack the skills or stability to help their children to succeed. Often, when parents do see their child's teacher, they are predisposed against him or her because their child has been complaining. Instead of supporting the teacher, parents come in attacking the teacher and defending their child. To counteract this behavior, teachers need to let the parents know they are on their child's side and want to help.

Cell Phones

Cell phone use has become a major distraction in the classroom.
Cell phone use has become a major distraction in the classroom.

Teachers must compete with cell phones in the classroom today. The noise of ringing or vibrating phones and students texting their friends are major distractions. No matter how much emphasis is put on eliminating cell phones from the classroom, they are here to stay. Some students continue to bring them to class, regardless of the consequences. Teachers must deal with these students in ways that are appropriate for the age group they teach. .

Computers

Computers offer opportunities to learn technology or waste time during class.
Computers offer opportunities to learn technology or waste time during class.

Many classrooms are equipped with computers because technology has become an integral part of the curricula. Students use them to work on online components of their courses and to write papers. Unfortunately, many students also use them for personal use. When instructors teach in their computer labs, they need to monitor their students to keep them on task.

Fatigue

Many students do not get enough sleep.
Many students do not get enough sleep.

Many students are not getting enough sleep by their own admission and as evidenced by their lethargy during class. They suffer from an overload of activities or stay up too late at night. Sleep-deprived students have difficulty concentrating during class and may appear bored when their real problem is lack of sleep. Teachers need to communicate their concerns with their students and their parents.

Limited Options for Teachers

Teachers have limited options when handling classroom problems.
Teachers have limited options when handling classroom problems.

Teachers have limited options when disciplining students. Teachers and administrators are sometimes afraid to discipline a child because of the threat of a lawsuit if they handle a situation incorrectly. Principal Paul Young of West Elementary School in Lancaster, Ohio, stated that sometimes principals are afraid to take a stand on a disciplinary matter for fear that they will anger someone or be sued. Teachers need the support of parents, school administrators and school boards to help them manage their classrooms effectively.