My CELTA teacher assaulted me

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Amy R
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Joined: 15 May 2016, 17:25
Status: Trainee Teacher

My CELTA teacher assaulted me

Unread post by Amy R » 15 May 2016, 18:42

Assault is an exaggeration. She, Cindy, my CELTA trainer, shoved me: no bruises, broken bones nor cuts and grazes, so not an assault as such, but for no reason I was shoved hard by this trainer - more than a push and I'm extremely unhappy about it.

The incident happened on Thursday evening just before the lesson started, which was the second of the 20 minutes teaching practices. Needing photocopies for my lesson I had sought out the person who helps with such things. He was in the room that has the photocopier, photocopying. As he knew I wanted photocopies I walked in and waited but for less than a minute. Cindy was on the computer in the opposite corner of this very small room - I was side-on to her - when she suddenly shoved my thigh. I turned around and whilst still facing the computer she told me i wasn't allowed in the 'staff room' when a teacher was there. I didn't know it was a staff room and even if i had we'd never been told of this 'rule' and it isn't in our handbook. However,that's not the point, the point is I was roughly shoved by my teacher for no good reason and I'm livid.

On Saturday I spoke about the incident to a new teacher, he will be taking part of the course in later weeks, he advised me to speak to her about it and that she was very kind and approachable and so on ... Talking to someone about why they shoved me and that i'm highly aggrieved by it is hardly going to remedy anything. After all, why do such a thing in the first place? She knows my name. I can find no reason for it outside of an attempt to bully and intimidate me, to let me know she doesn't like me, i'm not bothered about the latter but I'm most concerned about the former.

I've done several internet searches as I want to take the matter further but haven't sourced any advice about CELTA teacher complaints and it's not in the centre's handbook either. I assume they police themselves but still I want her behaviour on record in case she does something similar to someone else, or maybe she has already. Any advice as to what i should do would be appreciated? Thank you in advance.

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Re: My CELTA teacher assaulted me

Unread post by Briona » 16 May 2016, 09:26

Hi there,

I'm sorry to hear about what happened. Sadly, for certain factions in the TEFL world, the classroom and the playground are inextricably linked and playground bullying is part and parcel of the job. However, it is completely unacceptable and you should definitely take things further.

A quick look at Cambridge's complaints policy (, suggests that you will need to get the complaint on record at your school before they will deal with it. The best of way of getting something on record is to put it in writing. I recommend emailing the trainer in question (copying in the DoS and/or director of the school) stating what happened and requesting a meeting to discuss the incident.

Having had the meeting and aired your grievances, I would ask them to email you summarising the outcome. If they decline to do so, I'd email them with your own summary and ask them to confirm that what is said is true. In that email, I would also mention contacting Cambridge as you are unhappy with (a) the situation, and (b) how things were handled. I'd then approach Cambridge using the complaints policy outlined on the above link.

Keep us posted, and if you have any other questions, please ask.

Experience teaching in Vietnam, Portugal, Poland, Spain, the UK, and Qatar

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