Classroom management fails some C'bean teachers in US, UK

Guyana Chronicle
August 4, 2003

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THIRTY PER cent of Caribbean teachers employed in British and American schools have been given low grades for classroom management, two overseas recruiting agencies have confirmed.

"They struggle in the area of classroom management," Ned Glascock, communications manager at the Visiting International Faculty (VIF) Programme in the United States, said.

Chris Jones, manager of Teach London, Canada, which recruits teachers for British schools said, "About 70 per cent do well with the other 30 (per cent) struggling to manage their classrooms."

According to Mr. Jones, the shortfall in classroom management could have been due to a culture change.

Classroom management involves teachers' abilities to control their students and enforce disciplinary measures.

Teach London and the VIF Programme have been recruiting Caribbean teachers since 2000. However, the VIF programme is an exchange programme which allows teachers to work in United States schools for up to three years.

One Jamaican teacher, employed to a United States high school, told The Gleaner Thursday that several Caribbean teachers found it challenging to adopt to foreign schools. "Our students perform better in Jamaica and they display better attitudes, but here it is difficult because most of the students really don't care," the teacher said.

Relating scenarios where students displayed undisciplined behaviours, she said she was in a culture shock for several months after her appointment. "I could never imagine that a student would curse bad words in front of a teacher and don't even care," she said.

The teacher said that end of term evaluations often highlighted the need for improvement in classroom management.

Adolph Cameron, Secretary General of the Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA), said yesterday that it was "not surprising" that the teachers encountered difficulties in managing their classrooms given the difference in culture. Notwithstanding, he said the JTA did not have reports of teachers returning home. (Jamaica Gleaner)

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