This thing called ‘school’

Once again, I want to thank the Lord Jesus Christ for seeing me through 9 months in the school. Praise God that I survived and I am still in one piece. Yah, this really makes teachings so gloomy and grey. Sometimes really can’t help but to think it this way. Perhaps I am more pessimistic as a grow older in age. God have mercy on me. It has been a difficult 9 months for alot of us. There’s lots of adapting to new leadership in the school and adjusting to new working style. Sometimes all these can really drain you dry and left you with so little. Work-life balance is so far-fetch and perhaps there’s really only work and no life. It is no wonder that alot of teachers eventually are locked in this cycle of marking students’ works, doing lesson plans, churning our worksheets and written assignments and blah blah blah. They are often blinded by the piles and piles of books and assignments they have to mark and have no time to look beyond the horizon. How tragic this is? Of course I am not over-generalising as there are those teachers who are very enlightened and able to escape this cycle. However, that often comes with a price.
Many teachers just decided to forget about promotion and other forms of graduation to afford more time for themselves. It is a pity cos many of these people who have chosen wisely are people who can really contribute much to the development of a school. They have put aside their own progression and have given up opportunities to shine to sitting down at one corner, spending extra hours coaching the students and counselling them. These are all unrecorded times that dedicated teachers have put in and they cannot be seen. While, in contrast, there are those who would try the high way and by way to get into good books of their bosses and wish to shine before them. However, they have given up times that can be spent to coach and nurture the students. How tragic this is? Are we breeding a "point-scoring" workers in our education system among our teachers?
Recently someone was telling me that I should file up all the cards that my students gave me in appreciation of my teaching effort. I asked her why and her reply was so that it can be recorded in your appraisal as students’ affirmation. Oh mine, when did a simply thank you card from a student becomes an part of an appraisal? Are we missing out something here? Are we missing out the whole idea of education.
I wonder did the disciples of Jesus every tried to outshine one another in order to get into the good book of their Master? Perhaps! It will be very tragic to know that they will see who can heal the most number of people, or who gets the most difficult illness healed. Perhaps they may compete how many demons they have cast out and how many poor they have helped. Worst if we even compete how many souls we have saved and so on. This is what is happening in school. Many are considering the following few points:
  • When I discipline this kid, I must do it along this corridor cos the principal always walk pass here. She must see me in action.
  • I must send an email to everybody informing them of the extra lessons I am giving to my students, especially the headmaster so that they know that I am putting in more times to teach than others.
  • I must purposely walk pass the headmaster’s office when I go home late. I must say goodbye to him or her so that he or she will know that I have been working late.

The question is, have we made cheap our calling as a teacher? What is the driving force of education today? We really need to re-think about education. I have heard one teacher everr said this to his reculcitrant student, "I rather give you a hard discipline now and I may lose my job because of that, than for you to end up in prison one day." What a statement to make! That’s the courage to discipline and teach. When I talked further with this teacher, he said, "If I lose my job now, I can easily find another because my parents have brought me up well and I have a university qualification. But this child has nothing now. If we don’t discipline him, he will end up with nothing and he will not be able to survive well in this world." This is a very sacrificial statement. May the Lord continue to bless this teacher with many years of wholesome teaching.

Honestly, I am definitely not the best person to talk about this. I don’t think I have been a good teacher, but I am wlays striving to be one and hope that I can impart just one good lesson for my student in their life. Our teaching may just amount to a droplet in our students’ life, but that is more than enough.


the gatekeeper07