Teachers are often verbally degraded and mocked for speaking the very language they are paid to speak in.
Superlative or accented English can have you laughed at, usurped and undervalued. Teachers are then left feeling unskilled and unprivileged. Despite being in possession of a multitude relevant qualifications, including a UK acknowledged teaching degree. It is as though the very rigorous interview and screening process they had to undergo is rendered as meaningless as an onion in a suspiciously arranged fish tank.
If it’s obvious to the teachers, it’s obvious to the students. Students can see very poor professionalism between teaching staff. Many black or accented staff are openly denigrated and maligned. Having an accent or being of colour is a disadvantage. Why even bother articulating or enhancing your language? You’re still going to be spoken to as though you’re speaking through a glass door.
One teacher was mocked in a meeting for describing students work as “sterling”. A white teacher then replied with the attention of the entire room, “Oh, so what book did you learn that word in?” The room erupted in pockets of laughter. This behaviour is left unchallenged.Teachers with one-year contracts don’t feel they should bring up such matters with their unions as not to damage their potential income and family needs. Abuse doesn’t even have to be verbal. Staff are said to openly subordinated with jocular facial expressions, as though observing a dog that has just very recently learned to speak through a letter box.
Non-native speakers and teachers with accents are often left feeling isolated. alienated and embarrassed. Ebbing away at a colleagues demeanour and etiquette is deeply damaging and distressing. One teacher reported, “The fight to expand student learning can be greatly stifled when your very own teaching team is destroying your credibility, creativity, confidence and health and wellbeing.”
Teaching is a Team sport. It requires unity, not lunacy.