Recently I received news about colleague being internally promoted and also heard of new names expressing and harbouring the thought of looking for greener pasture elsewhere. Is this part and parcel of our education career? A female colleague of mine expressed that all she wanted to do was to teach, but many other things came along with it. Well, I guess many of us in the teaching career feel the same way. I think not that we mind the many other things that came along, but they are just too overwhelming. So overwhelming that alot of times we question our professionalism and our very existence in the system.
Schools today are so different. In the name education, policy makers and educational leaders have implemented thousand and one initiatives to so called improve the quality of education here. The question that we really need to ask is are we progressing or degressing in the light of all these initiatives? Are we dwelling in a world of "make-believe"? Schools today are so crazy over running projects and programmes that teaching becomes the last thing that we think about. I am not saying that projects and programmes are no good, but are we doing too much? Are we trying too hard to be a "school" that we are not?
I was sharing with a friend of mine about the MC rate in certain schools and how teachers use their MC as "Own Care Leave". She commented and questioned the professionalism of teachers. I don’t blame her for thinking that way, but for many, teaching has been reduced to just merely another job, another means of wage-earning. As such, perhaps not many are talking about dedication, or passion, or commitment, or even sacrifice anymore. These are alienated words in teaching today. No matter how nicely the media attempt to project the nobility of teaching as a career, society has reduced it to just another job, or really just another career. I maybe wrong but I don’t think I am far from truth.
Gone are those days that teachers are well-respected and highly regarded by the community. Student-teacher relationship has been reduced to simply service provider-client relationship. Parents and the community will always find means to "feedback" on the poor quality of service that teachers are giving. The question is, is teaching ever a service? Although not explicitly mentioned by many, the idea that customers are always right is embedded in many schools. Teachers are made to apologise for disciplining the students. Have we lost our courage to discipline? Perhaps teachers are not empowered by higher authority and thus losing their courage to teach and discipline.
At the end of the day, what kind of teacher do we really want?
the gatekeeper 07