Teachers by nature work in self-contained units, where their classroom is their castle. Even teachers in state schools essentially work parallel to each other. Freelance teachers may not be fully integrated into an organisation. Language teachers deal with other cultures and often move from culture to culture. It’s great when it works well, but it’s also easy to become disenfranchised and isolated.
Why did I join TaWSIG? (In no particular order:)
- Because I believe that people so highly qualified and dedicated should not be living from hand to mouth.
- Because I believe any denying that there is a problem can only ever be a short term solution. Long term denial makes you a tool for those who stand to gain from your position.
- Because I believe that we can learn from each other and strengthen each other.
- Because I think that older teachers like myself should be finding some time to put something back. It’s a little like putting your house in order before you leave.
- Because I belonged to the original punk generation of creativity and getting up and doing it for yourself.
- Because I am hearing harrowing stories about exploitation similar to the ones I heard 30 years ago. Has nothing been done in all that time?
- Because I live in a country where most workers have strong rights and yet we do not.
TaWSIG members come in all shapes and sizes. Some are young graduates, some are nearing retirement age. Most have experienced substandard working conditions, all would like to see their profession and their own working status upgraded.
Join the conversation.
Helen Waldron has been teaching in-company in the Hamburg area for over thirty years. www.helenwaldron.com