'I feel that I've been shafted'

April 7, 2000

Janet McKay has found that teaching can be very rewarding but it does have negative aspects.

While the 23-year-old modern studies teacher enjoys the personal satisfaction teaching gives her, she does not see it as a long-term career.

Although Ms Mc-Kay (not her real name) has yet to experience a government inspection, she said there was still tremendous pressure on her. Worries about exam results and disobedient students are partly to blame. While some of her classes are quite well-behaved, most are not, she said, and did not respect her.

After five years of university, Ms Mc-Kay has found that her friends have better working environments and better salaries than she does.

While she was never in the dark about what she was getting into in terms of pay and pressure, she has found her job quite hard, mostly for external reasons. It is the things she cannot control that have bothered her most.

"I went in quite optimistic and I feel that I've been impolitely shafted.

"It's just not a nice situation at times. I feel like I'm constantly defending my job."

Ms McKay also worries about unqualified teachers being hired to fill the increasing number of vacancies. "As soon as they lower the quality, I'm out."

If Ms McKay could have her time again, she said she would definitely not go into teaching.

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