Classroom Management Opinions

True Teachers

I found this letter to the editor this morning while reading through the Cape Times. I consider it a follow up to my previous article, You’re a teacher. Deal with it.

True Teachers 14 Oct 2020

Wrote in Cape Times

The following letter was written by RM Dugmore.

I write this as an ex-teacher and headmaster of 40 years’ experience, whose family has been involved with education for many years. A recent comment in one of the newspapers that the dropping of OBE was not a cure-all has prompted me to write in support.

While acknowledging the inequalities in education, one has at the same time to give credit to the role played by dedicated teachers. Apart from the hard work in the classroom, true teachers willingly participate in helping to organise sport and cultural activities.

It seems to me that many teachers today are in it for all the wrong reasons. I know certain schools where teachers are late for class, who take their time finishing takeaways over break. They fraternise with their pupils, use “stress” as an excuse for staying away and do little to prepare their charges for final examinations.

Yet these teachers draw the same salaries as their conscientious colleagues.

The argument that some schools get results because of the facilities their pupils enjoy is not true. What about the outstanding results achieved by some very poor schools? What do they have in common with more successful schools? Dedicated teachers!

The staff at these poorer schools generally have a competent, dedicated principal and a staff who turn up on time and help coach weaker pupils in the afternoon or even over weekends.

We now have pupils (why learners?) returning to school after a ridiculously long break to find teachers (why educators?) preparing to go on strike.

This at a time when we are told 1GOAL – education – and coinciding with the appeal on Madiba’s birthday to sacrifice their spare time!

I believe there are some 100 days to go before the exams come round. This is usually the reason why lazy teachers and lazy pupils choose to strike.

Anything to drum up an excuse for the poor exam results which will inevitably follow.


Wrote in Cape Times