Bits & Pieces of reflection for 2008

Well, all the school terms have come to an end for 2008. No doubt it was quite fulfilling to see my students did well in their exams, but it was not without much patience and headaches in educating them. My present state is like a deflated balloon where I need a good break.

At this juncture of my life, I want to have more freedom in managing my time. You may ask, isn't teaching in school is only half a day's affair, the other half you are free what? Let me share with you why I want more freedom.

Full-time teaching is like confining oneself to the four walls of the school. One security guard in our school has such description of a teacher: "You teachers are like working in the four walls of a prison, come in early in the morning (7am), and go back so late (6.30-7pm)." Of course, this may be an overstatement for some teachers, but it is most appropriate statement for most teachers. Thus, from this statement, we can see how our teachers in Singapore live. Day in day out, we are working with hundreds of pupils, marking piles and piles of workbooks and worksheets. Hence, after a day's work, most of our teachers will be dead tired. On top of our normal markings, nowadays teachers have to sit in in different committees, doing planning & reviewing of events of the school. At the same time, we have to keep a good and communicable relationship with our stake holders, e.g. parents, vendors, instructors of CCAs etc etc. Thus, not only we are physically tired, mentally and emotionally, we get tired as well. I can't stop naming the number of responsibilities a teacher has to bear.

Dear all, please don't misunderstand that I'm saying that it is no good to become a teacher. I just want to clarify some "myths" about people saying a teacher only works half a day, but salary so high, so many holidays. Yes, we may have more holidays then people working in other sectors, but during holidays, we still have to continue planning for next semester's work. In fact, it is not exaggerating to say that teachers work 7 days a week. The only time a teacher can really have good rest is during December holidays where a year has come to an end and no more markings etc. to do.

Seeing the above explanation, you may have a clearer understanding of a teacher's work. As for me, I want to put aside my full-time teaching career to a halt from 2009 onwards. I want to have a good break to recuperate my deteriorating health. Henceforth, next year will be a year of change for me, without a full-time job. Look like, I have to really tighten my belt. LOL :-) Anyway, I hope my body will recuperate fast and I can continue my pursuit for the next career as a Chinese tuition teacher (again teaching but managing my own time, own target).

Well, 2008 has been quite an eventful year for me. Frankly speaking, teaching in school is very enriching apart from all I have mentioned above. You have the chance to organise events, learning new things by attending courses, working closely with your department colleagues ... I will miss all these, but looking forward to my new life style ahead as well.

Wish me luck in 2009. I wish all of you out there to have a good holiday with Hari Raya Haji and
Christmas coming our way! Hurray!

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