A teacher’s life in Singapore is not as simple as you think it is


Last Updated on 2016-09-04 , 11:16 am

Once you have read this, I urge you to share this, especially so if you’ve got your teachers on your Facebook profile, and thank them. For without them, you won’t have understood anything here.

I’ve made many teacher friends. While some have quit, those who are still stepping into the school every morning are those who really need a pat on their back. Let’s demystify some points.

Firstly, teachers are emotional. When they give you a lot of homework, it’s for your own good. Think they like it? Think again. More homework = more marking. They may look like it’s nothing to them, but trust me, I’ve seen my teacher friends posting Facebook updates at 1.00 a.m., saying that they’re finally left with one stack to mark. Have your teachers complain about marking before?

Secondly, teachers are still learning, too. They’re not the superhuman you’ve thought them to be. They make mistakes, and they learn from them. The thing is, they can’t tell you that, for they’re the role models and do not want you to follow their footsteps. I know many teachers who are getting their degrees soon, and they’re senior teachers with over twenty years of experience. If you’ve read For That Day, you’ll understand what I mean. It’s based on interviews I’ve done with many teachers.

Thirdly, being a teacher is hard. If you’re a student, you’ll realize many young teachers come and go. They can’t take the pressure. Rowdy students bullying them, long working hours (I know of teachers who work from 2.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m. daily) and lack of social life. This is especially so for new teachers who are still learning the ropes. They might look angry to you, but they’ve got only four hours of sleep last night.

Fourthly, they hate scolding students. If you’re my age, go ask any teacher what is the position they try to avoid most. Most would say discipline master. You think it’s fun scolding students? Try scolding every day. I’ve a teacher friend who is one, and he is still looking forward to the day that, that responsibility will be taken away from him.


FYI, there’s no extra pay or allowance—just less responsibilities in other areas.
So, there you have it. You think standing on the other side of the table is fun? By the way, did I mention anything about lesson plans, CCA and contact time yet?

Here’s why a 4-day workweek might finally really be possible in Singapore soon:

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