Sunday, 10 April 2011

I Quit

I have tendered my resignation at the tuition centre.

It has proven to take a toll on quite a few things:

1) Coco is slacking in her studies.
She does not do a thing for 8 hours on Saturday. If she ever does, it is practising her piano for 10 to 15 minutes and do half a topic of Maths from an assessment book.

2) I am very tired.
I have a full-time job, a part-time job, and am a mother to two kids. I feel torn apart and me-not-enough. I am close to dead every Saturday. I keep visualising that I would plonk into a bed if one were to appear right in front of me, no matter where I am.

Last week, I had so many things on my mind I didn't realise I'd missed my train stop. And I almost alighted at the wrong stop - I stood up getting ready to alight, then I asked myself if that was really the stop I ought to drop at and it wasn't. Just yesterday, I almost missed another stop because I was thinking of Coco and job stuff again, plus fatigue.

3) I don't have time for just about anything else
I don't take pictures anymore. I don't read to my kids anymore. I struggle to find time to do my things for my full-time job. I don't go for Saturday breakfasts anymore.

I was hoping to quit as soon as possible, but the centre insisted that I give a month's notice, so I am left with 2 more weeks to hold out.

'Hold out' - I feel like I am 'holding out' for the major things in my life - I am holding this marriage out. I am holding my full-time job out. I don't know how long I can hold out for.

I thought I was the only one 'holding out' at this job, until I read a blog of someone in the same line. She replied her friend that she had changed the environment but did not know how long she can hold out for.

Yeah, I wonder how pathetic it has become. Everyone's simply holding out. Every day, people who sit around me say,"Very tired." It's every single day that you feel 'tired'. Isn't that amazing? Yet it's true. I attended the business sharing, and the guy said 'Go beyond what's expected of you'. You know, teachers do love to go beyond what's expected of them - in the teaching arena, not the administrative or programme-running or logistics arena.

I still remember how my colleagues and I would stay till 8pm or 9pm in school, till the school cleaner had to chase us out, and being chided by a PE Head about how 'inconsiderate' we were (for delaying the home-going time of the cleaner), just to do stuff related to teaching - mark books, decorate classrooms, creating teaching resources.

But we are not willing to spend that same amount of time doing things that take us away from teaching, and of course, marking. And we are seen as 'not willing to go beyond our teaching duties'.

'Why has teaching become such a long-hour job?' a part-time colleague asked me, rhetorically. She was glad that she was not a permanent teacher now.

I can't sleep sometimes because of the amount of work I have to complete before a certain deadline. I worry that I do not have time to meet the different demands of the different programmes and Heads within the same curriculum time.

Just last Monday, I was supposed to have 4 free intermitten periods for me to do my administrative work:

For remedial class
print remedial worksheets, print teacher's copies for a colleague and myself, laminate and cut out teaching resources

For Science Head
give out consent forms to students from five different classes and explain to them separately on what they were in for and what to do

For my Head
type out a weekly lesson plan

However, I often have to take on at least 1 relief period on Monday, and the assembly period always ate into my free period. I felt stressed that I might be left with just 2 free periods to do my stuff and I could not sleep.

Fortunately, by some divine intervention it seemed, I did not get a relief period to do, the assembly period ended almost just on time (the first time this year!), I managed to do my weekly lesson plan within 20 to 30 minutes (been a long time since I could do that!), and I had a trainee to cover a one-period lesson for me. And I realised that those 5 free periods was just nice to cover my administrative work.

I shudder to think what could happen if I did not have a trainee to free me of that one precious period.

I wake up early on weekends because I am very troubled by work - the first thing on my mind when I wake up is: I better get those worksheets designed and the lesson plan out, on top of the powerpoint slides and resources. I don't have time to do them on Monday and I need them on Tuesday.

I am not sure if others who have jobs of an equivalent pay go through the same grinding process.

A colleague whose kid goes to one of the better secondary girls' schools shared that the teachers don't teach. They flash the questions on the screen and asked the girls to do them. After that, they flash the answers on the screen and ask them to mark their work themselves.

For CCA, the teachers appear at the beginning of the session to take their attendance, and they disappear for the next 2 hours because they have senior students to take over the CCA. They only reappear at 5pm to dismiss the students.

... ...

I can only blame myself for not studying hard when I was in school.

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