Saturday, April 10, 2010

More and more

Life as a teacher these days is hard. More and more we hear about how much is piled on teachers. More and more we see expectations grow. More and more we see teachers becoming burned out due to increasing workload and unfair expectations.
For the last few years, I have had burn out periods almost every year. At those times, I felt like throwing in the towel and just quit being a school teacher. At those times, I wanted to just stay at home and crawl under my comforter. I would drag my feet to school. I would dread going to my table and see the mounting work there. I would feel tired just thinking of the work waiting for me. And I would wonder if I was doing a good job or perhaps I was just fooling myself into thinking I could be a good teacher.
Right now is not one of those times. I am swamped with work but I am still floating despite the burden placed on me. I have no idea when I will (if I will) feel the burn out this year. But looking at some of my colleagues, I can see the tiredness and stress in them. I see how some of them are falling sick. Others who have never felt burned out before are starting to feel it. They are dragging themselves to work daily. Their laughters have decreased. Their sense of job satisfaction is getting lower and lower.
Why is this happening? One reason is the amount of work piled up on us. From being teachers whose core business is teaching / educating, we are becoming admin staff with all sorts of paperwork to do - forms to fill, reports to write, minutes to complete, money to handle, accounts to create, plans to draw up and execute ... the list goes on. Not that in the past teachers did not have to do these. It's just that we are given more and more of these to do. Compared to 2 decades ago, when teachers still had a life apart from school, I find that we have so little time away from school. Our families see less and less of us. This is so not fair. We take care of other people's children, and we have hardly any time for our own.
The welfare of teachers is becoming so unimportant to the powers that be. Every year, they say they want to reduce paperwork for us. Every year they say they want to make teaching the true core business for us. Yet more and more non-teaching work is given to us. What is so sad about this is that all these unnecessary work affects our teaching. I just want to teach, educate and inspire my students, not having to worry about handling all sorts of admin work.
Just today, we were told we have to read, write synopses and present in order to increase our KPI. No problem since we do read. Problem is we have to write all sorts of things and fill in so many forms, spend time to prepare for presentations, etc. Already we are spending a lot of time online with work-related things, now we have to spend lots of time AT HOME doing school things. When do we get to do HOME AND FAMILY things? When do we get to truly rest and recuperate?
I really don't understand the people up there who came up with all these things for us to do. People who are not in school and not in classrooms should not make policies and assign all sorts of work to those of us who are. They have NO IDEA what we are doing and how much we are already doing. More often than not, we are doing work NOT in our job specifications. When is this going to stop? When some of us drop dead from work stress and exhaustion?
I really hope that we, teachers, do not end up dragging our feet to work every day because of this. It will be very sad indeed.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

good~ keep sharing with us, please....I will waiting your up date everyday!! Have a nice day........................................