So, I am not sure what exactly these “Mandatori” would be called in the US. At first, I believed them to be security guards for the school, kind of like how my high-school had. A security guard to make sure no one dangerous entered the school and to break up fights etc. The mandatori hang out in the hallway, one on each level, and fiddle on their phones.

Teachers use the threat of calling a mandatori to try and quiet children down. If a mandatori actually does come to the room, they either yell at the class (if it is a class problem) or gently rebuke the problem student. The more I have come to understand Georgian, the more I realize they tell the student to stop being a bad boy or girl, tell them everything will be ok, and pat them on the head. Because that is really going to keep kids in line.

Most people expect sercurity guards to be intimidating males, well, we have a few male mandatori, who tend to undermine anything the teacher has tried to say, and a very petite woman, who actually tends to be the best at disciplining students verbally. But their is still no bite to the bark.

So, now it seems that mandatori really have no purpose. Turns out, or so I have been told, they are not there to help the teachers discipline students, they are there to spy on the teachers. I am not joking when I say this. In some form, that is how the teachers feel. Mandatori are hired by the government to take notes on how well teachers are doing their job. Mandatori pay attention to how teachers discipline students, if the teachers are able to control their students and also to make sure that teachers are taking attendance.

Georgian teachers have class registers for each class level that when not in use are on a table in the teacher’s lounge. During a class, the teacher who has that grade will take that register and do role. Occasionally, a register for a grade is forgotten. At this point the mandatori,  will see what grade the register is for, check the schedule on the wall and make note of which teacher is supposed to be taking role with the register. Today I even had a mandatori enter the classroom and flip to today’s date and make sure my co-teacher had done role. It is almost embarrassing!

I have also been told about a teacher quitting last year because the mandatori  would sit with their ears pressed against the classroom door. Now I cannot vouch that that actually happened, but the fact that a teacher would quit over that, makes me think there might be a kernel of truth in it. Either way, the mandatori seem more ominous to the teachers than the students now.