Almost half (43%) of secondary school teachers who responded to a recent survey have said that classroom discipline is worse than it was five years ago.
Teachers are battling to contain a huge rise in smartphone use by students with 51% describing them as a hindrance in classrooms. A majority of 60% want an outright ban on the devices. France recently introduced such a ban.
The survey of 1,000 teachers from across Ireland by the online exams specialist Studyclix.ie, also found that 90% of teachers considered their job to be stressful either sometimes (51%), a lot of the time (32%) or constantly (7%).
When it comes to pay and conditions, the picture is certainly bleaker for newer teachers who entered the profession after 2011.
The survey found their average monthly take-home pay is €2,070 per month compared to €2,674 for teachers who started before 2011 – a difference of €600.
Some 62% of teachers said they will not be in a position to buy a home within a 30-minute commute of where they work. Some 98% of all teachers believe pay equality should be restored. although 56% of respondents believe that they are not well represented by their particular union.
A majority of teachers (54%) of teachers say students should have the choice to opt-out of Religious Education.
Commenting on the findings, Studyclix founder Luke Saunders, a second-level science teacher, said: “In a student survey we ran on Studyclix last year, we found that 54% of students reported to having checked their phone in class in the last seven days.
“In my view, students having smartphones in their pockets is the biggest challenge that teachers face in today’s classroom. The fact that 43% of teachers reported classroom discipline being worse than it was five years ago is likely largely down to the conflict that phone use has created.”
- Digital desk