What are some issues that highschool/middleschool teachers encounter in a classroom?

We live in a economically, religiously, politically, linguistically, and culturally diverse world and yet our policies keep trying to fit everyone into the same box. For example:  Policies which require that all children learn the same materials at the same speed and to the same level of mastery. Policies which mandate that each classroom use the same materials to teach to the same standards. Policies which require every student to  achieve a state of "college ready" regardless if they will ever go to college. Policies which mandate equal funding rather than equitable funding. Policies which fall to recognize that the industry of education represents one of the most educated collective groups of any industry. Policies which undermine sound educational pedagogical practices and put our students learning at risk.

The issues of family and student engagement are challenging, but they are not insurmountable. The lack of basic reading and writing skills are worrisome, however, these, along with a host of other issues, are easily solved if the policy makers would leave the educating decisions to the educators.

Ultimately, we need an app that helps us rebuild the connection between schools, teachers, students, families and the general public. An app that can show the level of commitment teachers bring to the classroom. An app that can help highlight the challenges both the students and the teachers face as everyone tries to fit themselves into the same square box. An app that can function as a social media broadcaster of the daily wins that happen in classrooms everyday around the country.

Hi. I taught high school for 15 years and found the following issues, not in any particular order:

1) Poor study skills. Students are lacking the technique and discipline for effective study at home. The distractions of tv, electronic devices, and too much emphasis on socialization are the big culprits.

2) Poor reading and writing skills. Inadequate elementary programs are raising a generation of illiterate students. High school teachers must be prepared to remediate in this area.

3) Special education students are integrated into regular classrooms without sufficient training of teachers or teacher aides. This can make the teaching environment almost impossible. Teachers leave the profession because of this.

4) Over-crowding of classrooms. School boards needing to cut budgets result in this. It negatively effects the teaching process to a very high degree.

5) Lack of sufficient prep time for teachers. Teachers are expected to prepare and do corrections at home. Schools requiring teachers for extra-curricular activities eats into time, along with professional requirements such as sitting on various committees. High stress levels result.

6) Lack of support from parents. This is getting worse. In student-teacher disputes, parents will side with the student. Schools have become a source of suspicion and mistrust for parents. As well, oftentimes parents stop parenting when students reach adolescence leading to a lack of proper mentoring at home. Students may come to school poorly fed, poorly dressed, and without sufficient sleep.

7) Sex, drugs, and Rock n' Roll. It's an old story, but still true. Students are seriously effected by lack of proper education dealing with sex and drugs and become victims as a result.

8) Lastly, technology. It's hard for teachers to keep up with the change in education provided by new technology and while school boards may be free to purchase equipment, they are loathe to provide proper training for teachers that may require additional resources in learning how to use the new equipment.

Good luck with your project. I hope this helps.

Apathy is probably my greatest battle with kids nowadays.  So many are looking to "pass" rather than excel and their parents accept that (and in most cases by their own behavior have created that expectation).
Largely tied into apathy is a poor home environment which keeps kids from reaching their potential.  Does the kid have a quiet place to do HW?  Are their parents at home to make sure HW gets done?  Do they have proper nutrition?  Do they feel safe at home?  Are they physically active (hugely important for overall health and success)?  Failure breeds failure and having all of this stacked against you as a student can make the defense mechanism of apathy a viable rationalization for kids with little support at home.

Monitoring screens is a problem. Likewise, can they have other screens open while on this app? They swipe to those screens as the teacher passes.

It is good to see a classmate's score, but only the 5 scores around their score, or some will get discouraged.

Can the teacher check progress while in one position eg at their own desk?

A variety of sudden rewards is fun, not just the same kind of message or screen to announce success.

Keeping a list of who you have called on to answer might be quite useful. There are already some monitoring tools out their such as class dojo but they are a bit clunky to use. Any good web or mobile app with interesting content and questions to check understanding is good, but you will probably need to work with a subject teacher to make sure that you are pitching it at the right level.

Grouping students by skill levels would be very helpful - in Language Arts and Math. Language Arts should be broken into two classes - reading and writing glasses- separate from each other.

Getting rid of textbooks. Science, social studies especially. The textbooks for those subjects more often kill student interest rather than serve it.
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