As a teacher, my goal is to educate the next generation and ensure that they have a brighter future. At least, it was something that was repeatedly drilled into us when I was studying to become a teacher.
Having worked at a private school for a while, I’m beginning to think that teachers in general are not well acknowledged for their contribution to the society.
For one, I make BND700 a month, a pay that tends towards entry-level positions. To make ends meet, I provide extra classes after work for the weaker students.
Most days, I head to the classroom, exhausted. I know my job is to motivate students to learn through creative activities. But as an overworked teacher, I mainly focus on getting through the day without a hitch.
If the students find me a bad teacher, I won’t exactly blame them. After all, if I put myself in their shoes, I would have found my classes uninspiring; boring, even.
The authorities have been paying special attention to Brunei Vision 2035 for years now. The pandemic has essentially opened the Pandora’s Box and exposed how stuck-in-the-rut our teaching approach had been. The teaching community banded together to find a way to make learning fun when the classroom was moved to the virtual world.
Now that we are in the endemic phase of the COVID-19 crisis, and everything is heading back to pre-pandemic normalcy, I’m once again wondering why the teaching profession itself isn’t protected from exploitation.
Sure, it can be argued that not all teachers are created equal. For every great teacher who is capable of inspiring students to achieve more, there are a few bad apples whose sole purpose is to earn a paycheque.
However, if the authorities are working to prepare the next generation for the challenges of a digitalised world, perhaps it is best to first reform the education system as a whole.
While there are undoubtedly school administrators that understand the importance of teacher quality, thus nurture and support them to no end, other teachers with good intentions have fallen through the cracks, constantly fighting off the urge to quit the profession and seek a greener pasture.