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On 19 June 2007


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    Sunday, July 01, 2007

    'Cher! why are you a teacher arh!

    I remember when I was young. Like really young, around 7 years old, till the end of my primary school education. I was really afraid of my teacher. Since I was still young, I was really scared of incurring the wrath of my teachers. Though most of the times I was always the teachers favourite, since I topped the class regularly. Perhaps this add to the stress in me that I MUST complete all homeworks on time, my uniform must be neat, my hair need to be trimmed, I need to be the best in everything. Teachers are the ultimate.

    All these stress comes from the teacher I had, however it does yield good results isn't it?

    Come Secondary School, I started to came round to the fact that teachers are human too. The stress reduces greatly, however my marks reduces greatly too. But I would say that it is a fair exchange as I felt a lot happier compared to the "me" in primary school.

    But I digressed. The main point of today's post is talking about the purpose of teachers being teachers in Singapore.

    Teachers are noble profession in our current society. I have 3 such cousins who are noble. Which means they are teachers la! I do not meant to criticise them or anything, but I am quite surprised that the 3 cousins that tooked up this professions actually took up this profession. I heard that one of them actually got so mad at her students that she cried and broke down in her own class.

    Not about my cousins, but I heard someone telling me that they have no choice but to be a teacher. Why? because it is a profession that never have to fear that they will lose their rice-bowl during any economic downturn. And most importantly, they need a job desperately, to pay back their loans that they took up in their university years. Being a teacher meant that in your first year of service that you spent in the NIE- National Institute of Education, you still get your pay. Only after your training, then you would be allocated to a school and teach there.

    Many take this opportunity as a way of cruising past their "paying back" of loans, while many felt that this job was the job that could provide a steady source of income for them. But the big question remains- how many of the teachers that we have, teach because they WANT to teach.

    Of course, some may claim that this is one of their reason for joining this workforce, but how many take it as the main motivation.

    Is it even of importance? Indeed it is. When a teacher has the passion to teach, he or she will teach to his best and the results that the students produce will be one of the best too. I remember a talkshow on channel U that asked a similar intriguing question about a teacher's passion when they teach, and the result? Many said that they had the passion, the drive but is discouraged by the students.

    Something is really wrong here isn't it? Teachers are supposed to be our motivating point and yet they can be discouraged by our bad results, if thats the case, how will the teachers improve?

    I understand the plight of many young teachers, I also understand that all human will feel discouraged ( take my cousin for example). But since that is the case, if you cannot handle such things, then why be a teacher? Just because it is an Iron rice bowl? This is about a cohort of student's future we are talking about!

    Sometimes I really wonder are teachers still a noble profession as compared to before?



    Blogger pearl said...

    hello crazyhamster.
    I'm a so-called "young teacher" in a certain secondary school in Pasir Ris. I was once a student like you, and hence, I can totally identify with the concerns you've raised in this blog entry. However, the transition from the POV of a student to that of a teacher's has really opened my eyes to things that had never crossed my mind when I was schooling. "..if you cannot handle such things, then why be a teacher?" I guess sometimes students forget that teachers are human too. Everyone has a limit, a breaking point. No matter how noisy a class is, or no matter how poor the learning attitude of a student is, most teachers (I'm saying "most" because I understand that sadly, there are some who give the profession a bad name. seriously.) will try his or her very best to cope with the situation. When confronted by failure, feeling disappointed is normal and perfectly human. What I'm trying to say here is that you shouldn't berate teachers just because they appear discouraged, causing you to fear that they may falter in their duties. The point of focus should be how said teachers RESPOND to failure, and how he or she learns from the setback. Naturally, no progress can be achieved in an educational institute if there is little initiative or positive responses from students - I'm sure that as a student, you know how some of your peers regard their teachers with zero respect, how they take their education for granted. A teacher's passion for the subject he teaches can only take him so far; how he deals with classroom problems (big or small) and how he manages to mould and shape impressionable young minds with his passion and ingenuity is the most vital thing. Such is the mark of a true professional. :-)

    12:19 AM  
    Blogger crazyhamster said...

    Omg. the second pearl in my blog! :D Glad to hear from a teacher! Thanks!

    3:26 AM  
    Blogger JT=355/113 said...

    it's pretty sad too seeing people choose teaching as a living not a life. Teacher trainees now receive a lot of benefit, the income is also getting bigger such that eaching job is a high ranked profession. Still i doubt if many truly love it from the bottom of their heart..

    Intrinsically i suppose everybody wants and loves to teach their own children in the best way, and everyone has some pedagogic capabilities. But to step out and help society requires a lot more passion, patience, talent, and effort.

    7:19 PM  
    Blogger singaporeteach said...

    Hi Crazyhamster,
    Cute nick.
    I am a teacher who joined teaching profession because I loved the children and left because of the nature of the job. However, I am proud to say that I have rejoined the profession for the same reason I joined it. I love teaching and I love my students.

    9:52 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Helloz CrazieHammieee~
    Wow i see you've got some replies from teachers... i'm a teacher too. I totally agree with your stand that teachers lacking in a desire to teach, thinking that being a teacher is an easy way out of their financial burden, should not be teaching. I have a friend who said (with a smile) "my teacher ruined my life in secondary school, i don't want to ruin other people's life by becoming a teacher". Teachers nowadays have a kind of 'surrogate parent' role to play, especially with some parents spending less time with their children, and yet we lack the authority of real parents, so... kinda caught in between. I've met many caring and sincere teachers when i was a student, and they really inspiring and encouraging. Not the biased kind who shows favouritism to the top students. To me, its important to keep a look out for students who need help. Teachers are not supposed to be casual friendly with students by rule, but students still ought to be respected as students.

    7:44 PM  
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