Nightmare in UK schools

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Male teacher standing before students (8-10) with hands raised

BEING a teacher in the UK is a horrible experience — it is a taste of hell.
I was a teacher in Zimbabwe for over 10 years.
I loved my work; I remember assemblies where children would greet us in chorus.
I was proud to be a teacher.
Our students would salute and greet us on the streets, showing us respect.
A misbehaving pupil would hide, show remorse on being found out.
The day I left for the UK, I was excited and convinced that I would make an impact as a teacher in the land of the Queen.
According to Mhofu from Luton, teaching in the UK is no walk in the park.
Mhofu:
“You know, if it wasn’t for teaching, I probably wouldn’t have travelled as much as I did. It was the teaching that got me around the world. But here in the UK, I got a rude awakening.
I got a teaching job at a school in Luton which was touted to be one of the best schools. I was grateful and overjoyed. On my first day in class the children looked at me as if they were seeing a ghost. One child raised his hand and said to me: ‘Are you an idiot’.
I was shocked; I was a teacher.
I looked at the child and wanted to hit him but I had been warned never to touch a child or I would die in prison. I pretended I had not heard the child then I heard another say: ‘Hey, are you deaf?’
I was so angry and I walked out to make a complaint to the teacher-in -charge. As I stepped out, the classroom broke into uncontrollable laughter. I had never been insulted by a child and let alone a white one. I was so angry l started shaking.
I walked into the teacher-in-charge’s office. He looked at me and said go and control your class first.
I walked back in the class and everything that followed made me sick to my gut. I just had to leave the classroom as l did not trust myself not to take my typical ‘teacher action’ against these wayward children. I went home.
I got a call from the school which informed me that I had been fired because I had no confidence and skills of dealing with children.
I then got another job as a teacher. This time, I was called a ‘supply teacher’ who is equivalent to a temporary teacher. The only difference is a supply teacher is a qualified teacher.
I arrived at the school, this time determined to bring some order.
As I walked into the classroom, I saw, on the green board, an offensive statement. It was a question: ‘What’s the difference between a monkey and a blackman?’
Just below it was an answer: ‘At least a monkey can climb trees.’
When I asked who wrote that in a very angry voice, the class remained silent.
I turned to the board to rub the offending statement. When I was done and turned to the class, I saw my bag fly out of the window.
I got angry and shouted at the class. The head-teacher and a few other teachers rushed to the class. The pupils all rushed to one corner and on seeing the headmaster, they started screaming.
The headmaster, in front of the children told me I was intimidating the kids and making the learning environment a war zone. I told him they had thrown my bag out of the window and had written racist remarks on the board.
The head-teacher said he could see nothing on the board and the kids shouted that they had thrown it out after I had tried to hit them with it.
I was asked to go home and reflect on my teaching skills.
The classroom is controlled by children; you must do what they want and you must not dictate to them. The head takes the word of the child against yours. Now I am working towards extracting myself from a career I was passionate about and I ask myself why?
Those who are thinking of teaching here must brace themselves for a torrid time.”
According to Paul Taruvinga:
I had my interview with a teaching agency in the UK before I finished University. I was accepted and so when I arrived in London in 2003 on my UK working holiday visa, I was ready to start my teaching career in Hackney, East London, an area I was soon to discover to be one of London’s most challenging.
I wasn’t quite ready to settle into a full time job so I went straight for the supply (casual, substitute) teaching. This meant I was running all over the East End, going to different schools every day. It was a great way for me to get to know the city.
It was also a fantastic way for me to learn how to be an adaptable teacher – different students, different classes every day.
One day I was called to the headmaster’s office; I was informed that a child had complained that I speak so loud that the child is now having sleepless nights. I was asked to lower my voice or I would be sued if the child went deaf.
I am not a loud speaker; I was shocked. I could not answer. Then one day I was accused of sexual abuse. I was alleged to have touched a girl-child on the shoulder. I was told any form of touching was abuse. I was suspended.
After three months of no pay, I was reinstated.
I now hate teaching with a passion.”
John Dickson:
“l was reprimanded for calling a child ‘my son’. When I came to school the following day there was a fuming parent who said to me: ‘Hey, my son has a father at this school now!’
I said I didn’t know about that and then she accused me of calling him ‘my son’ the previous day in class.
I went numb.
She went to the head and I was seriously admonished.”
The culture here is so strange. There is nothing like stopping students from throwing chairs at each other. The schools here are a complete opposite of the schools back home. Teaching is a nightmare here.
It is the most stressful job in the UK.

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