About Me


Solutions to 10 of the Most Common Challenges Teachers Face with Distance Schooling

With the rapid outbreak and global crisis that COVID-19 presents, thousands of schools have been forced to close to preserve the safety of students and their families. With this recent and jarring shift to online schooling, teachers find themselves responsible for the continuing education and growth of their students from an inconvenient distance.

While there are many challenges to teachers with the rapid use of online learning, some issues are more severe than others. However, here are the 10 most common teaching challenges educators face, along with helpful solutions.

1) Problem: Educators cannot perform their jobs up to the usual standard.

Students and teachers are facing this issue all across the globe; teachers trained to instruct in a classroom setting cannot perform and teach as effectively when distanced from their students (Winthrop).

Solution: Use verified online resources to teach as regularly as possible.

While virtual learning is not the same as learning in a physical classroom, teachers can take advantage of a plethora of online resources to continue teaching their students with as much normality as possible. Teachers can record videos of themselves teaching, host video conferences for their students to ask questions, and can continue to give assignments through online platforms. While online learning is not ideal, it will help students continue their education until regular school is in session.

2) Problem: Students are not staying engaged.

Without the constant guidance and instruction of a present educator, teachers are noticing that their students are not performing well in classes or completing assignments (Saavedra).

Solution: Encourage teamwork between parents and teachers.

Teachers are noticing that the more involved students’ parents are, the more likely they are to succeed. As students communicate with teachers and encourage them to help their students stay on task, complete their assignments, and focus on their schoolwork, teachers will see academic improvement in their students (Saavedra). Online schooling cannot be done alone; teachers need parents to help from home to achieve student growth.

3) Problem: Not all students have equal access to technology.

With the closure of schools and the subsequent shift to online learning, many teachers are noticing that some students do not have access to the needed technology to attend school online. This exposure of school inequity is disheartening and disruptive of the learning process (DeWitt).

Solution: Lend school technology to students.

Many schools are equipped with laptops, computers, or tablets to help students learn at school. Because not every child has access to technology at home, teachers and administrators can lend school technological resources to students so that all children have practical access to education opportunities.

4) Problem: Teachers cannot accurately track student academic progress.

Previous to the Coronavirus pandemic, tracking student academic growth was relatively easy for teachers. Administration of tests, safeguarding against cheating, and other measures were easily implemented in-person. Now, however, teachers cannot prevent cheating at home on quizzes, assignments, or tests. Students who are struggling because of psychological pressures from the pandemic and those who need extra attention from teachers are not receiving the necessary instruction or are stressed, anxious, or depressed, significantly impacting their progress scores.

Solution: Teachers can assign open-note exams and lighten students’ workloads.

Although teachers would ideally be pushing their students to accomplish difficult tasks at this point in the school year, present circumstances justify lightening students’ course loads for the remainder of the academic school year. Teachers can assign easier or open-note exams so that there is no disputation about cheating. Educators and administrators understand that grades and academic performance at this point are not normal, and students should not be penalized for leniency on the part of the teacher.

5) Problem: Not all students know how to use the necessary technology to continue learning online.

While teachers understand how to use online learning technology, not all students do. Teachers are finding it difficult to reach out to and instruct their students who do not know how to access or practically use their online resources.

Solution: Teachers should make videos about how to use and access learning resources and keep their assignments, modules, and coursework simple.

Teachers should film short, explanatory videos of themselves explaining how to use and complete assignments with helpful online resources. Teachers should also make sure that they are not overcomplicating assignments by using excessive modules, documents, or online resources.

6) Problem: Teachers still need to prepare their students for high-stakes tests.

While many standardized tests and end-of-year assessments have been canceled, students enrolled in AP, IB, or CE courses are still expected to take their final assessments (DeWitt). Teachers responsible for preparing these students are finding it difficult to prepare students for impactful tests from an online platform.

Solution: Use endorsed YouTube or instructional videos to help teach students.

While endorsed YouTube and instructional videos are designed for AP, IB, and CE students, other teachers can use verified, informational media to help students prepare for tests or the next academic school year. Teachers can create study guides or encourage their students to take quick notes as they prepare, from afar, to take these tests.

7) Problem: Students have no incentive to complete their assignments.

Without organized end-of-year standardized tests and an in-classroom teacher to motivate them, students do not have any incentive to do well in their classes. With many schools changing grades to “pass” or “fail” because of complications with COVID-19, students are losing initiative and desire to do well in school and are ignoring their classwork.

Solution: Communicate with students and be encouraging.

Teachers should frequently communicate with their students and motivate them to finish their school year positively. Personal encouragement from a teacher is proven to quickly help students want to succeed and make their teachers proud of what they have accomplished.

8) Problem: Frustration...with students, parents, and the current situation.

Teachers around the world are feeling overwhelmed, disappointed, and stressed about their students. Exposure to high and sustained levels of stress are making teaching, progressive, and effective job completion difficult and discouraging.

Solution: Practice patience with oneself and others.

Although everyone is feeling frustrated, the ability to change the present circumstances is beyond the control of most people. While government leaders and health organizations continue to helpfully mitigate the damage of COVID-19, teachers can contribute to recovery efforts by practicing patience with themselves and their students. As teachers come to accept the extenuating and difficult results of such circumstances and place fewer demands upon themselves and others, they will be able to more effectively teach.

9) Problem: Teachers are missing their students.

With the school year closing, many students will be moving on to a new grade level or new school. Teachers are accepting the disheartening realization that they will not be able to see or instruct their students again as they move on in their education.

Solution: Keep in touch with students.

While teachers will not be able to personally say goodbye to their students, teachers can keep up communication with their classes through email, school-approved group chats, and video conferences. Teachers will be able to enjoy the company of their students and continue to communicate with them before the school year closes.

10) Problem: The future of education is currently unknown.

With new developments regarding COVID-19 and increasing concerns about maintaining student safety, it is difficult to predict how education and teaching will change at the beginning of the next academic year.

Solution: Be flexible and take matters one step at a time.

While it is difficult to face the unknown, teachers must learn to be flexible in the face of an uncertain future for the sake of their schools and students. Calm, level-headed teachers will contribute to making organized schools and increase the chances of successful education recovery.

As teachers take these proven solutions into consideration, they will see increased participation from their students and will help them achieve greater academic success. As teachers move forward during the closing of this school year and the beginning of the next, they will be better prepared to meet further challenges and help their struggling students.


Winthrop, Rebecca. Brookings, “Top 10 risks and opportunities for education in the face of

Saavedra, Jane. World Bank Blogs, “Education challenges and opportunities of the Coronavirus 

DeWitt, Peter. Education Week, “12 Critical Issues in Education Due to the Coronavirus,”
https://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/finding_common_ground/2020/03/12_critical_issues_in_education_due_to_the_coronavirus.html. March 23, 2020.

Post a Comment