The two articles on teachers’ burnout Why I am quitting teaching and the hidden cost of caring about your career too much set me thinking. I have been teaching for more than ten years. Will I one day quit teaching, a job that I hold dearly? I have seen a couple of well-meaning teacher-friends quitting teaching. It is not because they do not love to teach. But rather, they are more likely to be put off by the non-teaching duties and sometimes due to stack ranking . MOE has once stated the top three reasons for quitting service : “for childcare, other family considerations and a desire for a change of job” [Link]. That is such a safe statement to make . Technically, it is not wrong as these are legitimate reasons. But, if we continue to ask why, will there be a similar underlying theme that causes teachers to resign ? Stack ranking? Excess workload? I believe that there would be two most common themes that could possible emerge if we dig further
I do not deny that MOE has tried to reduce workload for the teachers. Yes, there are policies but how has that been effectively translated into observable practices in schools? In my school , I do see the efforts to make our workload more manageable (e.g., less after-school supplementary lessons, longer protected time). I am not trying to be in the good books of my SLs (who might just be reading the blog posts) but that is definitely how I feel. Those who know me should know that I mean what I say/write and I say/write what I mean. So, on this account, I do appreciate that and I really mean it.
However, despite the lessening of the workload (on paper at least), I do , at times, feel overwhelmed and really feel like just saying “let it go”. Why am I still doing work over the weekend (e.g, pondering SA1 schedule, looking at the ITQ Specs , thinking of ways to level up my academically-challenged P6 Graduating class)? Why are people giving last minute info and making things more stressful and urgent for others?
Perhaps, it is just me as I am too overly attached to my students and want to go all way out for them despite handling the demands as that minion HOD (who need to settle all the laptop and iPad problems). Perhaps time for me to chillax a bit and try not to be too “responsible”. How I wish that I can, at times , can just be that little irresponsible and heck care about others? How I wish I can give last minute instructions without feeling guilty and heck care those who need to made changes base on my last minute instructions ? But , can I ? I seriously doubt so ….
Yes, this week I am very *FRURSTRATED* by a series of unexpected events (which could well be avoided if people can just pre-empt me by giving information earlier). I already have the plate full dealing with the expected things and with the unexpected things coming in definitely make the plate overflow. And this is definitely make me in the mood to call it a day. If you find me just throwing in the towel, it would definitely be due the administrative overload
I guess writing this blog post helps me to let off the frustration that I have felt over the week. I feel much more better now since I have blurted all out. I still very much want to be a teacher as this is in my blood. And I will and should continue to be in the system as long as I can stand the administrative overload. I shall never let the system game me. I SHALL and WILL *game* the system for my students.