Lebanese Teachers are Heroes!

I was reading an interesting article entitled “please be aware that our kids/students are struggling” by The Wandering Empath. The author begins with “she had seen a lot recently about teachers not being okay.” and she agreed on this! Then, she mentioned how this is “overshadowing the struggles of the students during this time”. I found my self connected to this article. It describes a real and alarming situation! I wanted to read to the end. However, reading this: “teachers here work hard and are compensated. The average salary tops to $100,000 a year!” Urged me to stop reading and to start blogging directly about the Lebanese situation! In my country, both students and teachers are struggling and no one can estimate who is struggling more!

In my Lebanon, teachers work hard, but they are not compensated! The average annual salary in Lebanon has dropped from around $25000 before the depreciation of the Lebanese currency to less than $1200 today. The value of the Lebanese currency has lost 90% of its value since 2019; it plummeted from LL1500 to the dollar to about LL21000 to the dollar. This had a disparate impact on the life of the Lebanese people and specifically on teachers who rely on the end of month salary to make their living.

Let us count the stressful things the majority of the Lebanese teachers are suffering from:

1-Low money income that can’t cover basic costs of electricity, water and food.

2- The change in their life style to cope with the economic crises. Lebanese people have cut out many of the social connections and the outings that were the major stress release activities. They are urged to stay home due to high fuel costs and other outings demands.

3- Limited hours of electricity supply has affected the working hours at their houses. This affected the family daily routines and structure!

4- Complication in work due to the reduction of teaching resources. Schools are not able anymore to afford the same quality resources due to high expenses! Teachers have to find substitutions to keep on quality education!

5- The negative effect of the pandemic and the economical crises on the behavioral and the academic level of students.

6- Family members loss or sickness or even their sickness due to Covid widespread.

7-  Teachers shift gears immediately to respond to new educational system needs and requirements with synchronous and asynchronous virtual instruction.

8- The migration of family members, friends and colleagues to find a better income has affected teachers’ and students’ emotional wellbeing.

9- The need to have Zoom live session during the Sahra Lebanese family time as majority of students have electricity supply after 6:00 pm.

10- Many of the teachers live in the mountains where all family members gather in one warm room. Teachers may need to have the Zoom live session while all family members are in same room. And in some cases, mother- teachers will have additional hours guiding their kids with their own live zoom sessions.

All these 10 reasons and I may have missed others, make the Lebanese teachers true Heroes. Teaching among miserable life conditions at the stage of just staying alive to keep schools opening!

Greetings my Colleagues! You are always doing great jobs! Believe that one day, all your hard work will pay off!

15 Comments

  1. Wow, this was really eye-opening. I am so sorry that your teachers are struggling so much. I must admit, our salaries are the highest in our area as well as much higher than most in the US. Not all teachers make such a great salary. Your teachers also shoulder a lot of responsibilities we do not here in the US. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Indeed, it is a disastrous situation! However, circumstances might be triggering for an instructional leader like u to arrange for professional development workshops coping the hazardous conditions! This was an apparent evidence for your continous sarfices! It was challenging for all but your horizontal collaborations made the transfer smooth! Inturns, it changed to a great success!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely , creating such a learning community helped us to grow and overcome the challenges posed by the pandemic and the economic crises. Moreover, working on creating safe places for open communication will be a key to adequate containment measures for all to continue and prosper in such miserable life conditions!

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  3. Teachers need good salaries to get motivated otherwise they will not develop their skills in teaching … then money in the most crucial pillar in education

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally agree with you! Teachers need and deserve good salaries! However, you know the situation in Lebanon! If teachers will not have the intrinsic motivation to work and develop, we will all fail! This will have a tremendous negative effect on the new generation! The education system is already collapsing! I do believe that The work of a teachers these days is a charity work! They are sacrificing to prevent the loss of the school year! But, what is the other proposed solution? Strike to push the government to improve teachers’ conditions ! I don’t see this a solution! Nothing will change the mentality of the Lebanese politicians! We have to change them! Maybe educating this generation will help us more. They will grow and be the change we want to see in the world. I see hoping and working for a change is better than striking and helping in the collapse of the education system!
      What do you say?

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  4. It saddens me that the education system all over stooped down to the horrific state it is in now. Neither teachers, nor learners can benifit from it anymore. Even though the situation is very tough with underpaid teachers and under developed students, the real problems will begin when those students must go into the world and apply the zero skills they have developed, literally an illiterate population with nothing to add to the already degenerate world…. My heart goes out to those teachers and children who are the result of some incompetent leaders who got those positions because of favour or whom they knew. No knowledge or skills were considered while millions of very competent teachers were available…. Even today it is a tough situation where teachers are being exploited and paid the minimum if not working in a cosy position. I had to look on how this terrible situation developed ans esculated to where it is today…. Personally, and I would never have even thought this before, it seems that online zoom teaching will become the solution to the dilemma. At least the students will be provided with decent learning material and the teachers will make more money…. My prayers are with all those students and teachers who became part of this decrement.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your valuable reply! Appreciated! I do agree with all what you said! Adding to this, the students’ attitude toward education has changed! They are losing hope of the future seeing the collapse all around them! This is the most sad part of the story!

      Yes, we once thought of the live zoom session as solution. However, here in Lebanon, the electricity shortage and consequently internet service outage is worsening the situation! It is adding an additional strain on teachers, families and students. We are trying to replace live Zoom sessions with asynchronous ones. Do you believe that parents are complaining about not having enough power supply to recharge their kids’ electronic devices to accomplish asynchronous learning requirements!
      Wish the situation will change soon! Hoping for better future!

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  5. Yes unfortunately this is true. Some of my relatives are teachers and they really struggle in teaching. Hope everything will become better

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jad for your comment! We all hope for the best to happen! Actually, we have to be hopeful even though everything is crushing all around us and despite of all the challenges we are facing 🥰

      Like

  6. Your consideration,dedicated work, wisdom,guidance,help and time,… are really valuable.
    You are amazing leader that inspires me and many many others.
    We are so blessed to have the opportunity to work everyday with such an extremely talented member specially in these extraordinary circumstances.
    God bless your efforts.

    Liked by 1 person

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