ERIC Number: EJ840728
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Teacher, where Are You?
Whitehead, Diane P.
Childhood Education, v85 n4 p242-B Sum 2009
In recent years, much has been made of the increase in student absenteeism. However, an issue that has not received as much attention, but one that is equally critical to childhood education, is that of teacher absenteeism. It is important to note that schools are not only centers of learning, but also institutions that provide continuity for children, many of whom have little other stability in their lives. Teachers offer consistency in schools and in communities, conveying important messages of stability and societal well-being. Although schools are spread across nations and continents, and school settings vary widely, many of the reasons teachers give for dissatisfaction, which can contribute to teacher absenteeism, are the same the world over: (1) overcrowding of classrooms; (2) poor condition of school buildings; (3) lack of respect for the teaching profession; and (4) job stress and burnout. Dealing with such a large-scale global challenge is not easy. Schools must become increasingly creative in finding ways to alleviate teacher stress and improve teaching environments. Teachers' health and well-being must be equally considered alongside other crucial issues of teacher compensation and safe and secure classrooms. Children should not have to endure a constant stream of substitute teachers, regardless of how well qualified the substitutes may be, and no child should ever arrive at the classroom door to find that there is no adult available to greet and teach them. The issue of teacher absenteeism is complex and multifaceted and it will take new and innovative strategies to address this developing concern. However, with children's education at stake, and with a probable relationship to grave issues such as global security, the author contends that teacher absenteeism is not a problem that can be ignored.
Descriptors: Teacher Burnout, Teacher Attendance, Teaching Conditions, Teacher Welfare, International Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education
Authoring Institution: N/A