You’ve probably heard this many times: Teaching is one of the most stressful professions in the world.
I think that while I am able to handle stress and pressure relatively well, most of my colleagues don’t.
It also doesn’t help much that most of my colleagues are female. The entire faculty in the school is primarily 80% female. The director is female. The principal is female. All form teachers (except for 2 classes) are female.
There are many times when I noticed my colleagues breaking down during office hours, whether is it because of a class that has become too difficult to handle, or just because administration and (countless) paper work has gotten to them.
While I am quite outspoken during meetings and discussions, I prefer to be blend with the wallpaper during regular working hours. I don’t hang around the pantry to gossip, nor do I walk from desk-to-desk and chit-chat with fellow colleagues. This is partly because, even though I can speak/understand Thai, most of them talk in other “dialects” such as Isan and Lao. (Just imagine that your Indian colleague has learnt Mandarin, but you chat with your other colleagues in Cantonese or Hokkien. There is no way your Indian colleague could understand.)
Yet, there has been so many instances when I chanced upon a fellow (female) colleague sobbing quietly, or crying on another colleague’s shoulder.
Unfortunately, for most of Singaporean parents, they don’t understand this and push a lot of blame to their children’s teachers. Teachers now have to take responsibility for what parents have failed to teach their children. It’s sad but true, and people wonder why is there such a high turnover rate despite the incentives that MOE has to offer.
Fortunately, I am not teaching in Singapore. Parents here offer a lot of gratitude and respect to teachers, and honestly, I sometimes feel that I don’t even deserve all these, having only done so little for the students.
This week officially marked the end of the first quarter of the schooling year. All my primary 3-6 students took their exams, which I also completed marking on the same day. As I collated the results, most of the students passed.. With a handful also getting full marks.
I think you can call this: Job Satisfaction.