My initial response to this ST Forum letter? Edited because after referencing the letter she replied to, I realised she selectively used the information there!
Clueless people should not be allowed to write letters to the public. Then again, where would I get my daily dose of humour if not from them?
So in the few minutes I have between meeting parents this afternoon, I shall reply (in diary format no less!) to Ms Tan Lee Hwang.
5am to 6am: Wake up and prepare for school. A lot of people, including students, take only half an hour to prepare for school or work.
Erm, I shall let this pass. After all, I wake at 5:30 and leave my house at 6:15. Clearly I take too much time to get ready for work. Tsk tsk, us lazy, inefficient people.
Leave for school at 6am and arrive at 7am. If he needs to take one hour to reach school, Ms Quek’s husband should ask for a transfer to a school nearer home.
Now this, is just hilarious. Like a transfer is so easy to get plus MOE doesn’t care how long it takes you to reach the school. All that matters is that the school falls within a certain radius of your home. If I take a cab to school, I can reach in less than 10 minutes – not very far right? However, if I take bus and MRT, it will take me 1 hour or more to get to school. There is a direct bus which takes about 40 – 45 mins but the first bus arrives at my house at 6:30am which means there is a high chance I would be late for school.
7am to 7.30am: The ‘guard duty’ he does is usually done by parent volunteers or rotated among teachers, so it is not a daily affair.
HAHAHAHA. Please, someone, come volunteer at my school. Ok, I don’t do guard duty because I am not in the discipline committee. And there are no parent volunteers doing it at my school. Unfortunately, parent volunteers just don’t have the authority the teachers have so having them do guard duty is quite pointless.
7.30am to 1pm: Regular teaching. Teachers do not teach from 7.30am to 1pm at a stretch. They have one or two free periods in between each day.
Oh, that’s true. I teach an average of 8 periods (4 hours) out of the 6 hours of lessons a day. Of course, I have marking, lesson planning, counselling of students, administrative work etc to do, but who am I to complain? WE HAVE BREAKS!
1 pm to 3.30pm: Prepare for and conduct remedial lessons. Again, this is not an everyday affair as different subject teachers will take turns to conduct remedial lessons.
As an EL teacher, I teach fewer classes than other subject teachers. Even then, I have 3 afternoons of remedials – one afternoon for each class. Yeah we take turns but sadly, we teach more than one class. Let’s not forget the extra lessons I have on top of my remedials for my weak O-level students.
3.30pm to 5.30 pm: Take charge of co-curricular activities. Again this is usually only once a week for primary schools. For secondary schools, these are usually done by outside coaches or student leaders.
You know, maybe I have an instructor for my CCA (which in reality we don’t because we don’t have the funds) but I would still need to be there. If anything happens to the kids, who is accountable? Me, so I don’t happily chill out in the staff room during CCA time. Also, when there are competitions, CCAs can take place 3 – 5 times a week.
5.30 pm to 6.30pm: Key in remarks on students for mid-term report book. This is required only twice a year, during mid-term and year-end.
True, true. Actually it is 4 times a year though. Let’s be accurate hmm?
Selective reading apparently because the original letter mentioned administrative work not just keying in remarks. This is brilliant. How to win an argument? Lie.
6.45 to 7.45pm: Travel home. He should request to teach in a school nearer home to cut travelling time.
Yeah … see above.
8.30pm to 1am: Marking books, worksheets and the like. Most homework is marked by students who exchange books and worksheets, with the teacher going through the answers during class time.
HAHAHAHAHAHA. Even maths teachers mark their own work. Peer marking is done, of course, but not all the time like the author implies. It is VERY IRRESPONSIBLE to only mark exam scripts.
An exception is for examination papers and compositions, which are marked by teachers. These are usually marked in school during the teachers’ free periods. The daily routine listed by the writer did not include lunch breaks.
I need to caps lock this because THERE ARE NO LUNCH BREAKS WHEN YOU ARE A TEACHER. There is no period set aside for lunch. I take my lunch at 9:30 am because otherwise, I have lessons. If you are unlucky and teach the whole day, you still DO NOT GET a lunch break.
Dear Ms Tan,
You don’t know anything. Stop being annoying.
ETA: And lying to boost your argument is just sad.