Defend Truth


I am just a teacher, beaten by the system


Monique Strydom is a 25-year-old foundation phase teacher at a primary school in Johannesburg (Ekurhuleni North). She has a passion for teaching children and coaching sport.

I went into teaching because I’ve always been very good with kids. As a foundation phase teacher, I put a lot of effort into the way the little ones learn and take in new information. The system today is just making it very hard for us as do what we are trained to do... teach.

Although I love teaching, I hate shouting.
Unfortunately, I have to do it every few minutes.
I enjoy working with kids, I don’t enjoy having so much admin and planning that it turns into anxiety.

I am all for group work, what I’m against is a class of 40 teaming up against me.

I chose to educate out of passion, they choose to disobey out of disrespect.

I eagerly follow the rules, but it is obvious that my students don’t have to.

I want to save the world, but I live in a world where the person who needs education is allowed to bully the one educating.

I am in a career where I am burdened with deadlines and learners constantly crossing the line.

I don’t get paid to lie awake, stress and pray about other peoples’ children at night, but I do, because I care.

I get excited when I explain the content, but I get saddened when the entire class ignores me and talks even louder than I do.

I identify and try my best to remediate special needs, still I’m considered as under-performing.

I work in a system where this is okay and acceptable, a system where a teacher’s well-being isn’t considered.

I teach.

I love teaching, but I’m tired.

I am just a teacher, beaten by the system. DM


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