Teachers are bullied in schools – by the same children they are supposed to guide towards adulthood.
Their classes are disrupted, they are treated with disrespect and they are not even allowed to send a naughty child out of the classroom so that the rest of the class can be taught.
Today, I found this open letter from a teacher on my Facebook group for teachers and he wished that there is a way to send it into the open so that other people can realise that teachers are human, have feelings and are hurt. Despite this, teachers go daily back and do their jobs.
I felt his pain, and many of the teachers of this special group of teachers felt it as well. Fact is, teachers are people too! His letter follows, unedited:
TEACHERS ARE PEOPLE TOO!
Lately there has been a spate of posts on social media about teacher brutality that went viral. Shock is expressed from all spheres of society and our dear education department is promising that legal action WILL be taken.
There are, however some information outside those dreaded posts that is not revealed, because nobody wants to own up. Before that teacher lost control and hit the child, he/she has been ridiculed, disrespected, cursed at, stolen from, etc. for a looong time.
Remember that teachers in senior phases get up to 7 classes of more than 35 learners per day. Out of these, +/- 15 per class (add up to 105 learners a day) are disrespectful. They refuse to work or keep quiet and are blatantly rude when addressed. Attempted parent contact mostly goes unanswered or ends up in a disciplinary hearing with a warning, and the child is back, because they have rights. They cannot be put out of class, because they have rights. They cannot be touched, even if they smack or punch a teacher, because they have rights. They cannot be addressed harshly, even if they curse at teachers, because they have rights.
In all this, it seems like you give up your humanity when you become a teacher. Well, let me point out that under the straight face that we go back to schools with everyday, to face the same abuse from the same children, are normal human beings; we have children and parents like everybody else, we feel, like everybody else, we hurt, like everybody else… Because we are people too. I am not pleading to a child to start respecting me, because it is not in their capacity. I am pleading with our government to restore the dignity of teachers by not placing the rights if these unruly monsters created by this evil system above teachers rights, because we are people too. We also have rights.
All we want to do is our job, which is educating these kids back to childhood and into adulthood, which can only be done with the help of both the parents and our government. ALUTA CONTINUA!
(If someone knows how to get this out on the media platforms where everybody can see, especially government, it will be appreciated.)
To all the teachers who did not quit as I did, but are still standing in the classrooms despite bad behaviour of children, I salute you. And I pray for you. We need you!