The Teacher Voice Matters Part 2

It really bothers me when governments, higher powers and/or senior management teams make decisions for teachers about what they can and cannot do without involving current teachers in the discussion. We see this happening time and time again where they expect teachers to jump and bend over backwards with every new policy, every new regulation, every new piece of administration, every new whatever else with immediate effect just to test if it works or not.

I read a quote on social media that said

If your profession has appreciation days, then you are being underpaid

It is bad enough that the teaching profession is underfunded yet we are thrown in the deep end more often than anyone else with class sizes that we have to teach, scripts that must be marked, learners that have to be chased after to complete assessments because we cannot give out zeros. All this while not having enough resources to help learners succeed and stability to do it all from one place. In addition we are micro managed instead of being asked for our opinion to contribute to the discussion and we are told this is the profession we chose therefore we must deal with it.

In all honesty the aren’t many who decide to be in this profession so if the select few decided to leave then there would be none left. We are already in a teacher crisis because by the year 2030 we would be losing over 45% of our teachers who are retiring. Part of me feels that they are just counting down the days till they don’t have to come back to this. Don’t get me wrong, I love teaching but it would be a whole lot better if I wasn’t undermined for every single thing that I decided to do.

The feeling of trust, support and appreciation can truly go a long way, instead of openly being thrown under the bus. Being asked for my opinion and knowing that it matters is all that I ask. The teacher voice should matter because we are the ones on the ground doing whatever it takes to make it all work out for the good of the learners.

Teachers also want to feel safe in their place of work without having to worry about whether they will make it home everyday. Lately there has been a lot of social media spotlight on the states whereby some teachers and learners were killed. In SA teachers are bullied too by students and not much is being done about it.

We shouldn’t have to stand by this. We keep saying that teaching is a noble profession let us start treating it as such at all levels of management.

Thank you for your time. If you know of any graduate that is interested in being a change catalyst in the education space in South Africa please visit https://www.jgfellowship.org/ nominate them or direct them to the site

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