– I worked every evening and every weekend until I lost myself. I gave and gave, but it was still not enough.
So says Solveig Chatre, who was inspired and ready to become a teacher in 2021. After seven years of higher education and several years as a school aide, Chetre knew what she was doing.
When she gets a job at a high school, she is thrust into a demanding reality. This spring, two years after completing his education, he quit his job.
– It’s sad to hear that she’s leaving, because the teaching profession can be rewarding and meaningful. However, I am not surprised, because we know that many new teachers like everyday life, says Steffen Handel, president of the Education Association.
A Census Conducted by STEP Research Project One in five fifth-year teaching students responded that they did not want to work as a teacher after completing their education. Many of them say they want to do something else.
– Must be a psychologist
Both Handel and Chatre felt that the status of the teaching profession in society had declined, and that teachers had to fill more and more roles.
– Know our subject well and convey it to the students and establish a good relationship with them, that is how it should be. But the related aspect is more about care and nurturing. This means we sometimes need to be a therapist or psychologist, he says.
He believes he has neither the time nor the skills to fill such roles.
– Why did you think you should fill these roles?
– No one said I should, but for a student to be vulnerable and open up to me about personal matters, it was a huge declaration of faith that I didn’t think I could turn down.
According to a survey conducted by Absolutely The main reason for this is the teachers who leave behind a heavy workload.
– There are not many hours in the day and teachers are not paid for most of the jobs required today, says Chhetre.
Education Minister Donje Brenna can say that the Norwegian school has a broad mandate, meaning that the teacher’s role is broad. Nevertheless, he tells NRK that he understands the teachers’ challenge.
– Government is currently working to strengthen the team around students. There may be a clear division of needs and responsibilities of other professional groups in the school, Brenna says.
Negotiated on quality
When Sæthre had to set 200-level scores this spring, he received long messages from several students trying to negotiate a grade.
The level grade should be an expression of the overall ability of the students at the end of the training, and the teacher should determine the grade based on that. Provisions of Education Act. Students have the right to formally complain about a grade and can request a justification for the grade from the teacher before they complain.
– but they tried to negotiate with me about the quality and believed that I misjudged. They doubted my ability to do my job.
NRK read the messages Sæthre received from high school students. The teacher himself has anonymized the students and NRK does not know the identities.
One of the students pointed out that the person concerned achieved high targets in all assessments, was active in class and therefore did not understand what was missing in getting a grade 6.
High Target achievement Corresponds to Grade 5 and 6. The student is displeased with being graded at grade 5 and tries to convince Chhatre that he got a better grade.
Another student, consulting fellow students and parents, concluded that Sæthre had made the wrong assessment:
“I’ve talked to a few people about it, including my parents, and they agree it’s unfair.”
– There is a lot of pressure among students on grades, primarily to get into the desired course, so I understand that they are sending such messages, says Chatre.
He felt a responsibility to his students, but many of them did not try to understand the basis of his assessments.
– This shows the decline in status and respect of teachers.
Brenna sees increased accessibility as a common problem for workers in most industries as a result of digitization.
– Minister says it is important for schools to have rules and guidelines on when and how you are available.
– Take care of yourself
Steffen Handel believes that the workload is too high for newly qualified teachers and that this is the main reason why daily life is so demanding.
– Fresh graduates often feel inadequate. If they go too far in trying to do everything good for students, they burn their candle at both ends. So they have to take care of themselves, he says.
The manager believes that the transition from study to profession needs to be improved, including good guidance and mentoring arrangements, to retain newly qualified teachers.
He therefore believes that politicians should invest more in schools and teachers in the future.
Allocate 60 lakhs
Education Minister Handal believes he has good points. Therefore, he has set a goal that every teacher trainee should work in schools and find the profession attractive.
– The government has allocated NOK 60 million for mentoring programs for new teachers. We also work on a professional forum where we discuss with teachers, educational programs and students how we can improve teacher education.
– Inadequate teacher training?
– The main task is to prepare the students for the profession and now we have adjusted the structure plan for the teacher training courses so that they are better and more relevant to the school where the students go.
– What do you think is the decline in teacher status theory causing teachers to leave the profession?
– Metrics show that the teaching profession today has a higher profile and higher status than it did 15 years ago. It won’t change the teachers’ experiences, but I hope the metrics are a comfort.
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