Highly regarded and well-known all over the world, Singapore’s education system has become famous as a pressure cooker for everyone who’s involved.
While lots of discussions have been held regarding education-related stress students face as well as the ways to deal with it, the pressure put on teachers usually remains unnoticed.
Meanwhile, a lot of educators have already left their jobs, with the number of resignations slowly but surely increasing year after year.
Let’s look at what’s behind the sad statistics and how it is possible to help the cause.
1. Too Much Workload
Everyone talks about how much Singaporean students study nowadays. How many extra classes they take, how many hours they spend on homework and how little free time there is left to relax.
However, worrying about our kids, we rarely notice how much teachers work, and the heavy load that rests on their shoulders.
Their working day starts at 7 o’clock and goes on for almost 12 hours. Moreover, those 12 hours are not only about teaching but also about organizing events, carrying out workshops and dealing with a whole set of extracurricular activities.
Grading is another pitfall. With a great overemphasis on tests, examination and school marks, we all seem to forget that the most important thing about studying is learning and not getting the highest score.
The more tests there are, the less time educators have to focus on teaching. No matter how hard they try.
2. Dealing with Difficult Parents
Another great challenge for teachers is dealing with difficult parents. Instead of working hand in hand, shaping children’s future together, it’s not rare for parents to refuse to assist with an educators’ work, slowing down the process.
The problem is that unlike in the past where teachers reign supreme in the classroom, today’s teachers hardly hold any power.
Every move is scrutinized by parents, and even a mild punishment could result in a parental complaint to the Principal.
When even a simple move such as to seat an inattentive kid in front of the class could be frowned upon by parents and viewed as ‘discrimination’, how can our educators do their jobs?
3. Myopic Focus on Academic Results
Then, there is the myopic focus on academic results. If a teacher feedback to a parent that their child is behaving poorly, most parents are usually reluctant to take any actions as they only care about academic performance.
The problem here is that students inherently learn from their parents’ values. When a parent does not care about their child’s behavior and moral values but only academics, it becomes nearly impossible for teachers to inculcate the right values.
This is a major reason for most teachers, who genuinely want to shape the future of the younger generation, to feel let down and to eventually leave teaching service.
Countering the Problem
Many teachers that left their jobs might have stayed with a lighter workload. Having fewer events to organize, fewer phone calls and messages from parents to answer and less grading to deal with, educators will be able to devote more time to teaching.
As for the other problems mentioned above, it’s in our hands to make the lives of teachers easier! Let’s remember about a noble cause they’re all engaged in and be thankful for their hard work.
While the situation in schools won’t change significantly anytime soon, becoming a home tutor might be a good solution. Home tutors in Singapore have flexible schedules and get to adjust their workload themselves. Needless to say, they don’t have to organize any events either.
Check out our Tuition Assignments and register as a tutor if you’re interested.