Teachers’ perceptions of the influence of learners’ undisciplined behaviour on their working life and of the support of role-players


Behaviour problems
Working life
Psychosocial well-being


Unacceptable behaviour by learners in South African schools is a major concern for all stakeholders in the teaching profession. This explains the increased interest in the role and responsibility of teachers in managing problem behaviour and the effect of this behaviour on educators’ quality of life in the workplace. This research posed the following questions: Does inappropriate student behaviour affect teachers’ working life, and if so, to what extent? Is the prevalence of undisciplined behaviour higher amongst boys and in multicultural schools? What is the influence of learners’ disruptive behaviour on teachers? How do teachers experience support from role-players? A questionnaire was used to obtain information for answering these questions. Although the findings of this research indicated that not all teachers experience excessive emotional reactions that may contribute to stress, it appeared that undisciplined behaviour was the source of irritation, made demands on teachers’ temper and caused aggression. The majority of teachers reported that they enjoyed sufficient support from the school’s governing body, but they were not satisfied with the support from parents and the department of education. In spite of the high percentage of teachers who indicated that undisciplined behaviour impacted on their job satisfaction, the majority do not consider leaving the teaching profession.


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