Previous national and international studies have shown how prevalent it is for educators to be the targets of bullying by learners. However, there have been only a limited number of studies exploring educators’ experiences, from their own perspective, of being bullied by learners. Therefore, this qualitative study aimed to explore educators’ experiences of being bullied by learners in a township secondary school within the interpretive phenomenology framework. One-on-one semi-structured interviews were conducted with three educators who were teaching learners from grade 8 to grade 10 in a secondary school located in a township in the Gauteng province. The data was analysed using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). The findings of the study demonstrated that the educators’ experiences of being bullied by learners showed both differences and similarities. The educators’ perspectives revealed that they had experienced different forms of bullying, that their experiences occurred in an unsupportive school system, and that the bullying had affected their well-being and professional lives. Furthermore, the educators showed that they employed various coping mechanisms to deal with being bullied. They also explained the nature of being bullied by learners and the attributions for being bullied. The educators’ experiences conveyed the understanding that learner-to-educator bullying is a multifaceted psychological and social phenomenon. The insights provided by this study are important for all members of the school system. Areas for possible future exploration have been suggested.
Mini Dissertation (MA)--University of Pretoria, 2019.