Newsletter 24 Voice of Novice Teachers

The voice of our novice teachers (final)

  • “You always have that child that acts out, you can’t hit the child.”
  • “I can phone the parents to come see the principal but the next day the child will be in class again and the problem will continue, having somebody out of line and I can do so little makes me feel disempowered.”
  • “They not my children and you can’t hit them because corporal punishment is not allowed, your hands are tied.”
  • “I feel that my power has been taken away due to policy. In certain situations policy holds me back, the system takes the power away from the teacher.”
  • “You can’t really do anything beyond reprimanding a child.”
  • “I had eight children that I wanted to repeat, I was told ‘They can’t repeat, they need to go over, they will develop in that phase.’”
  • “I feel the system is failing them.” “The teachers are powerless.”
  • “I have children in class who are not on grade level, they can’t cope, that slows you down.”
  • “Because classes are so big, it’s difficult to give each child individual attention.”
  • “My disempowerment, these huge classes.”
  • “All the unnecessary admin work.”
  • “I don’t think I’m that free because I always think about the principal, ‘Is he going to be happy? Are the teachers going to be happy with my actions?’ I’m always second guessing.”
  • “Because I work with older teachers, I feel that I’m not able to voice my opinions that much because they have more experience. I feel like they think they know better so I rather back down, in that way I feel disempowered. They are so set in their ways, you working with old blood.”
  • “You give your all but you don’t have their support, you just need that extra support at home.” “The parents come with their petty things and attack you.”
  • “Culture was always a difficult thing to deal with, mother and father are a child’s first teachers, the way they do things might not be the way I want them to do things.”
  • “I’m always thinking of ‘What is the child going to tell their parent?’ I don’t want to cause problems.”
  • “The children manipulate the teacher and the parent.”
  • “These children are my boss.” because they demand so much from him which becomes overwhelming.
  • “They say this is an inclusive school, we not trained to teach those special needs.”
  • “It’s impossible what they expect us to do with these children, they expect too much and there’s not enough time to fulfill all these expectations.”  
  • “What they expect and what is reality clashes completely, the type of child I’m working with is not the child that they envision. They don’t realise all their social problems that the child goes through on a daily basis.”
  • “The way they set policy up, you are dealing with this perfect learner, you are sitting on policy that caters to this one learner when in fact you are dealing with individuals that are at different levels.”
  • “The government believes a teacher will walk into a classroom and immediately start teaching, they don’t take into account the dynamic in the classroom. You have to ensure there is discipline, a lot of time is spent on classroom management.”
  • “At times you feel disheartened that your autonomy is compressed into a little box. If you are a free thinker, that box can crush your passion.” 

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