Challenges in teaching English

The Real Challenges Faced by Real English Teachers

English teaching jobs are gaining more popularity day by day in a world where English reigns everywhere. With over a billion people currently learning English globally, teaching English is always in demand. If you’re considering starting your job in the growing market of online English teachers or having decided to travel overseas to teach English, you can be sure that there will be always students for you; Besides its rewarding nature, being an English teacher has its own challenges and difficulties too. This post summarizes the main challenges that real teachers have encountered during their teaching experience.

Getting Steady Jobs

English learners always outnumber the teachers, and there are enough students per teacher, but finding a steady job that provides financial security is always problematic.

getting a job as English teacher

Low Pay

Teaching English can never make you rich; only if you have a lot of qualifications plus years of experience, you can make a living. But don’t lose hope! you can always think of some creative ways to earn some extra cash and add to your income. If you can’t think of any, take a look at some practical ways we offered English teachers here.

earn money as English teacher

Racist Views In the Job Market 

If you fall outside the stereotypical white teacher with the perfect accent and nationality, you will have a hard time getting hired and finding any job in the online English teaching market. But never give up even if you’re not “the one with special inborn characteristics that you have not any control over”; You can still find a respectful environment to work in. 

racism in the job market

Little or No Chances for Improvement

Teaching English is always teaching English; Maybe you can gain more qualifications and experience over years, teach English to professionals someday, or for special purposes, but there’s barely a promotion for the teaching profession in any field.

Challenging Students

Besides all the occupational issues aforementioned, there are real challenges in the teaching experience itself. Don’t want to exaggerate, but students can turn into nightmares for teachers. They bring with them their problems, concerns, and feelings into the classroom. There is a range of common problems teachers always complain about:

  • Students with zero motivation who neither respond nor take anything seriously in the classroom are real challenges for teachers. Having them participate in classroom activities requires a lot of energy.
  • Students with different learning styles and different levels of English proficiency require different teaching methods. 
  •  Students with executive functioning problems can hinder the teaching process. They’re disorganized, messy, and always looking for their staff.
  • Students with oppositional defiance, apathy, depression attention deficit problems, hyperactivity, or ADHD issues can cause serious problems to the whole class. 
  • Students suffering from poverty or negligent parents can not blend well with others and may never succeed.

If you try to be the “nice, fun teacher, who’s always smiling and cares about every single student, you may find yourself frustrated at some point. It requires a lot of individualized attention, time & resources to provide for such students to push them toward success.

Cultural difference

In your teaching experience, you have students from different belief systems, and different nationalities and cultures. While teaching the language, you also have to teach them how to be an ideal English speaker and to behave like one. You’re not just a language teacher, but also a cultural ambassador. You have to help them to get accustomed to the new culture. You have to even be prepared to help students who may experience cultural shock in class; All this requires a great awareness of different cultures, respect, and tolerance.

class with diversity

This post was all about the empty half of the glass: It zooms in on all the real problems teachers have experienced and are experiencing in their job. But do you know any perfect job with no challenges and difficulties? Of course not! there’s not such an occupation; English teaching is not an exception, it has its own challenges. If you want to gain a clearer image, look at the full half of the glass too, and read about English teaching perks and pros, ins and outs in our blog! (here)