Be prepared to be highly stressed and unappreciated. Holidays are never free time for teachers. Lots of processes to comply to. Drafting your lesson plans based on protocols that actually limits creativity required in a real life classroom. And as new bird, you will be appointed to lead CCAs no one wants to take on. These CCAs normally have very low budget due to lack of performance, hence the sch will place it in lowest priority for the total budget.
And hope for a good boss. Your career will depend on that. Everything from grading to request to transfer to another school is subjected to your principal's approval. IF you kenna marked, be prepared to be stuck there and get shit gradings. Its political because the grading has quotile and they need to find someone to give the poor grading. You could be discriminated on anything depending on your boss. Even having to leave on the dot to pick up your children can become a reason to give you the bad grade. I'm not kidding, my sis was given a bad grade with this reason explaining that other single teachers are able to work longer hours. She was in a young group where only a few were married and only she had kids.
Im from engineering background too and in the education line.
First, as engineers, they r exposed to problem analysis and solving, with logical thinking.
Engineers approach tasks in a very systematic manner and do calculated moves. In this aspect, they are well sought after by schools, they need problem solvers.
2nd, these days, there are much inter-schools friendly competition, such as outreach programme, science and technology program, projects etc, unlike the old days. So with ur expertise, you would be appreciated to lead in various initiatives. And if u can bring the schools to a new height, ur future is limitless.
3rd, if you have IT background (which most engineers would have in some way), it would be a potent asset. These days, aligned with government IT vision and mission for the nation, schools are conferred the tasks of becoming the FutureSchools harnessing IT.
All the above has indirect links to teaching, at least it sounded so. As for teaching, most likely engineers would be profiled to lead in subjects such as maths, physics, technical work, technology.
Btw, you need to analyse ur intention of switching. The best intention is ur passion. If your passion is to help children attain a holistic education, you wil find it very rewarding.
Any other intention such as pay, promotion, worklife balance would be challenging to fit.
Thanks for your kind advice. I have been considering the switch for a couple of months now, thinking through the pros and cons of engineering and my perceived thoughts of teaching. Please correct me if I am wrong.
My current situation is such that I am a engineering for roughly 3 years.
Pros are: It is a very stable job. Promotions are structured and is guaranteed if no major screw-ups.
Cons are: Being a female engineer, my boss hints that I often get the job done through other means (read: damsel in distress) other than my technical capabilites. And thus, although I get my job done, I feel that my technical competencies are often undermined.
And since I am married and thinking of having kids in next 2-3 years, I was hoping that entering the teaching profession, I would be in a better position to nurture and guide my kids in the future. I am also thinking of putting in 4 years into obtaining PGDE and some teaching experience before being a private tutor (or even opening a tuition centre) in the future.
Would this be a wise choice for a switch or am I jumping into something far worse than I thought?
Not sure what type of engineering u refering and organisation. So perhaps a more generic situation -
Stable job and structured promotions is gd! At least no need stress abt exceling
As for the boss' impression, well, i guess it happens sometimes, but most important is own self believe own competency, ignore what other perceived. Yes during my intern attachment to a construction site, i used to view female engineer differently. But as i mature, i realised those are naive and inferior thots. So better not b bother by it.
No i dun tink a teaching profession would affect kids nurturing and guidance.
Last, there are many other institutions that would accept engineers as educationalist, not necessarily must go thr PGDE. Do explore those, as it might offer what u want.
Can pm me if u wan further elaboration, coz i dun wish to comment openly into this.
"Be prepared to be highly stressed and unappreciated."
I think this is subjective and also happens in other lines, not just teaching.
"Holidays are never free time for teachers. Lots of processes to comply to."
To this, I fully agree. Unlike other jobs where you can 'clear leave', what leave is there to clear for teachers?
"Drafting your lesson plans based on protocols that actually limits creativity required in a real life classroom."
Actually on the contrary, the 'protocols' ain't protocols but tools / guidelines to help one to think more creatively. Otherwise, you'll see all teachers doing just chalk and talk - okay, marker and talk these days...or worse, ppt slides and talk.
"And as new bird, you will be appointed to lead CCAs no one wants to take on. These CCAs normally have very low budget due to lack of performance, hence the sch will place it in lowest priority for the total budget."
Not true for all schools. Some schools cater to the preferences of the officers as far as possible. Then again, it also depends on the teacher who left the school. If the teacher who left happens to be teacher who is in charge of Bowling cca, then the next one that comes in may be asked to take over. It's based on the needs of the schools too, rather than dumping grounds. Anyway, the part about budget and performance is really pragmatic like all other companies. You'll tend to allocate most funds to the project that yields the best results, isn't it? So it's up to the teacher and students to make the best of what they have, prove it to the rest before they can ask for more budget. Otherwise, the teacher has to submit a convincing budget proposal that is promising of future results and performance.
"And hope for a good boss. Your career will depend on that."
I think in all lines, we all hope for a good boss.
"Everything from grading to request to transfer to another school is subjected to your principal's approval. IF you kenna marked, be prepared to be stuck there and get shit gradings. Its political because the grading has quotile and they need to find someone to give the poor grading."
The quota is both true and untrue. It may or may not happen depending on the Principal and Superiors above. In any organisation, you'll need to rank employees to determine the yearly bonus too, isn't it? This is to keep schools and companies more competitive. I certainly wouldn't like equality at my workplace would you? Will a company that rewards all employees be necessarily performing too? Don't we see slackers in all companies?
"You could be discriminated on anything depending on your boss. Even having to leave on the dot to pick up your children can become a reason to give you the bad grade. I'm not kidding, my sis was given a bad grade with this reason explaining that other single teachers are able to work longer hours. She was in a young group where only a few were married and only she had kids."
This is very much dependent on the type of boss you have. I know that most companies are even less compassionate towards women workers with family commitments. In the govt sector, I think it's already better. In any case, if I am single and have no kids and I have to cover my colleague who has to go home earlier to tend to her kids, shouldn't I get more bonus and recognition given that I've put in more effort and achieve more at work?
And by the way, Career, you should be prepared to perform other duties that are not 'considered' by most as part of teaching. All those planning and administrative duties that add to the teaching in classrooms are often seen not as teaching duties and thus many are grouchy over doing a lot of admin but not teaching. It's really subjective here. So just be prepared. It is not good enough that you enter teaching just because you love to teach kids. A school can be as corporate as any private companies still.
Denise, frankly. its more authoritative. You are much more likely to be stuck with such bosses in organizations government sectors and small business than private corporates. Indeed, its about the boss. With jobs with a bond, one has to think carefully.
Actually on the contrary, the 'protocols' ain't protocols but tools / guidelines to help one to think more creatively. Otherwise, you'll see all teachers doing just chalk and talk - okay, marker and talk these days...or worse, ppt slides and talk.
Well, that was the intended purpose. But does it really realistically achieve that? And one will not be evaluated on really how creative or effective the class was. Its about results and compliancy to protocols that is always used to benchmark the performance.
I don't know how to tell you but actually it does help to improve lessons. Many, after NIE training, forget all these and their lessons are the most boring of all. Without these, lessons are just drill and practice and drilling students these days wouldn't work because the education system has changed. Our time, we just need to memorise will do. Now, even if you memorise the whole textbook, you can still fail. Students are expected to think critically and teachers must be able to deliver lessons that make them think. Those 'protocols' you mentioned are really not protocols but guidelines to assist teachers to think out of the box, to come up with lessons that are interesting, engaging and help students link what they learn to the real world out there.
My hubby has been a teacher for the past 18 years. There is a joke that teachers spend so much time with other people's children that they don't have time for their own children!
Go into teaching only if you love interacting with children or youths. This is why my hubby can last 18 years. This strong passion will help you weather the negative aspects that come with the job (as in any other jobs).
He still keeps in touch with many of his students till this day. They come to our house every CNY. He gets invited to their weddings and other important days of their lives. This is the reason why he wants to teach.
1. Some schools can be very obsessed with results. This means the teachers will have to work their butts off- including remedial lessons during holidays and after school hours. And having endless and mindless meetings just to deliver the results.
2. Marking. If you teach the humanities, the marking can be quite tedious. My hubby always carries stacks of his students' assignments with him when we go on holiday.
3. Non-teaching duties. These can really take up a lot of your time, time that is better spent preparing lessons, marking or counselling your students. Some schools have it worse than others. The current school that my hubby is teaching in has very good admin support. This frees the teachers to do other more important tasks.
So, if you really love interacting with the young, you will find the grouses more bearable. A lot also depends on the leadership of the principal. The first school that my hubby was posted to straight after his training at NIE was terrible. 4 years there and he developed high blood pressure. Then an ex-colleague got him into another school and initially, for the first 5 years, he was very happy. Then came a change of principal and things went downhill. Currently, he's into his 4th school and so far, so good.
Like with everything else, passing for your work is important.. If you have passion, then most of the things you can take it.
The only thing I find very common among teachers is that they like the typical Singaporeans - they love to complain about their work and stress..
Funny isn't it,, as if in the corporate world it is all plain sailing? As if only teachers are stressful?
And they like to talk about doing work (called back to school) during their break.. But they never know that when we go on leave, we also carry our company notebook with us - replying to emails every night while we are on vacation. At least I am sure the teachers don't have to do that?
Denise, yes, I do understand where you are coming from. But, what I have pointed out are real feedback from my siblings. Both with lots of passion with their teaching. And both have been very creative in their teaching methodology.
And they did not appreciate these guidelines nor the constant checking if their lesson indeed go according to the plan. My sis gave me this example. She had a very well thoughtout lesson plan but during the lecture, she realize her students aren't really understanding and started to lose interest. So, she threw away the entire plan and improvised on the spot. She managed to get the interest of the class and they all learnt the intended topic well.
But, her supervisor questioned her why she didn't follow to her lesson plan. That's the kind of one-threaded minds that frustrates people. Policies are in place for a good reason. Where is the focus? The methodology or its application? One has to understand its purpose to apply it well. We see a lot of this kind of stupidity in NS as well. The standard procedures are so thick that no one really remember everything. And when there is an issue, the investigation will dig to pinalize with the policies. Its really sad. The objective has become a tool for the up-tight to micro manage.
Sm, it's the same. Both teachers & ppl in other lines complain abt their work and I think that's normal. So y compare the volume of work that we all do right? For anyone who says teachers have it better, I'll always ask y they don't join teaching instead. Whatever ans they gave, that's precisely y only some ppl can teach for years and some cannot.
And yes, I agree that a lot depends on your principal's leadership & isn't this common in other lines too?
There is a difference between rants and feedback of true issues. The principal remains pretty much an authoritative and super power in the school.
You don't have this much in the corporate world. The CO of a company doesn't micro manage the company. They strategize, that's what the management is paid to do. Not manage the staff. These are what the middle management are there for. Its hard to apply leave. This is a fact. This is hardly the case in the corporate world. We have all the planned vacations, that's a luxury for teachers.
Planned vacations? I had only 5 weekdays that I don't go to school in June, milo. And btw, we do strategise too. Anyway, differences are there but since we all choose our own paths, I have no complaints.
Agree with Beebee and Faith... Got to have the PASSION! I guess you just need passion in whatever career you are in and you will excel well! But if your reason for being a teacher is because you wanted more time with your kids, you might be joining for a wrong reason and you wont be happy
sm, actually, the high stress part is not a complain from my sibling. Rather, from his family including me. He basically 'loves it'. Working through many weekends. Someone very hands-on. And his boss just place more and more tasks for him to manage.
Yea...I meant 'planned vacations' are referring to June/Dec right? Which is why for my case, I can't even apply leave to go on holiday in June because almost everyday there's something going on. I had to apply leave to go on weekends! Sigh...what to do? It's my passion leh haaa
my cousin is a VP at one of the schools .. every day got something on (she also has to check school schedule if we are planning something) and she also has to bring kids overseas for school trips - she said it's a very tiring job, very little personal time.
yes, i agree with most! You need to have passion. Teaching cannot be a last resort kind of career...
Everything is going to weigh you down but if you have a strong interest in nurturing kids and such, then go into teaching.
My sister is a primary sch teacher... She loves teaching but all other aspects of her job is killing her! I think it is much more demanding than many of us think it is. She even have to think twice about taking MC at times because she is worried about her kids lagging behind in class and such...
the truth: many of the teachers who are passionate about teaching and truly care about the kids burn out real fast, and leaves the organization jaded and wondering if they are any good. Many who manage to stay on and survive are more interested in climbing the corporate ladder than teach. Why? Bcoz there are appraisals you see, and if you are merely teaching you will get a D (performing below expectation). You need to be involved with a lot of innovative projects, CCAs, things that bring glory to the school or ministry to get an A for your appraisal. And if you involve yourself in all these, where got time to do proper teaching? Those who spend too much time teaching will be called in to the office to be reprimanded about their lack of performance, and will have new responsibilities shoved onto them.
Are you kidding, simpleman? Replying emails is a 'job'? Teachers reply emails all the time and never thought that it's worthy to be called 'part of a job'. It's just something instinctive to be done.
I agree with hweebs that those who are passionate about teaching are the first to sink. You really have to be in it for the money perhaps to stay long.
I'm not sure if you people know this, but our education system is founded by an engineer, thus the streaming system - boost the elites, keep the good ones, and toss out the bad ones.
If you're thinking of switching to teaching for the benefit of your future kids, you may be right in that you will be slightly better prepared than an average parent who doesn't have an inkling about what an education is about, but if you are thinking of coaching your own kids after work, then that's just a dream. You won't have time for your own kids. My colleauges' and my own kids have to be tutored by other teachers or enrichment centres simply because we don't have the time to sit down with them to teach them. And to make us feel less guilty, we engage tutors to help them instead.
This makes me recall a teacher-friend who told me she was busy making resources for her students to help them read. Her young child came to her one night and asked her why she's making all those things, to which she replied,"Oh, I make them to help my students read." The young child said,"I also want to read. Why you don't help me?"
The IT stuff you do in school don't need an engineer to carry them out lah. As long as you're IT literate, you'll be able to pick them up.
"Are you kidding, simpleman? Replying emails is a 'job'? Teachers reply emails all the time and never thought that it's worthy to be called 'part of a job'. It's just something instinctive to be done. "
Are you kidding? How can teachers teach if they are replying emails all the time?
But do teachers need to reply and do work when they are on overseas vacation?
I don't mean to say teach is very free and stress-free.. what I am saying is so are many other jobs that are as stressful if not more so. And even when we are taking vacation (as if we can even take) - we take our work with us.
rains, teaching doesn't require the kind of biz decision making and negotiations required in corporate world. Its a different ball game altogether requiring different skillsets. Not apple and apple comparison at all.
Not saying which career is better or dealing with more key things. You got the context of sm's msg wrongly lah. Which job don't require an email nowadays? His point is that even though we have vacations, often, we still need to work from home and do meetings despite way off office hours. 24/7, biz is going on somewhere in the world. It doesn't stop. Why do biz travellers remain the main consumers for telco and air-travelling biz? Travelling and chatting on the mobile are not a job either. So, are you kidding to talk about email this way?
sm, I would think with teaching, one has less flexibility over their time. There are career choices that would give one more flexibility. If family time and flexibility is what one prioritize, then teaching not the right cup of tea frankly.
You might be so busy but still able to dine at home daily. Probably a luxury for some teachers.
Hweeds and rainz, its not the passionate that sinks. Its the idealistic ones. There is a difference here. One can continue to be passionate and work with the flow than against it. Despite my siblings frustrations, both continued to be passionate in their careers for many yrs now.
I think the difference between education and say, running a corporate company is that in education, we are dealing with many intangibles of a student's life, such as character moulding, inspiring in them a love for learning etc., these things are hard to quantify and may not show any results in the short term and yet, the system demands that schools produce tangible results to show. The academic results are only part of the equation; there are many other aspects of teaching that are 'invisible'. Many teachers come into teaching because they love interacting with the children and youths and to borrow MOE's cliche 'to mould lives'. However, if they are doing 101 things other than teaching, they are going to be burnt out and very soon, they ask themselves why they are there. If they want a job that just pays the bill, there are many other jobs available. So this is the irony that many teachers face.
it depends where you are working as well. A neighbourhood school teacher may have a better life than another working in the top schools in s'pore, because there is less cutthroat competition and stress. I'm sure your siblings would know some schools everyone avoids like the plague because teachers who go in usually goes to IMH
Doll, its beyond complains alone. My sis was basically man-marked by her P. Suffered some yrs under her and gotten shit grading before finally getting the approval to move to another school. Its not rants, but real life impact by some unprofessional bosses. She was seen as the disruptive worker by the P as she would bluntly and frankly point out issues with suggestions from other people including the P while the rest are yes man. She was transferred from a missionary school where things were much more democratic and professional. So, she learn the hard way to tone down her style completely.
When I said 'all the time', I mean every day, during our 20-min lunch, when we're home, when we're marking, during our maternity leave, during our 'planned vacation'. Is replying emails so much a part of your job that it's worth mentioning even? I think I want that kinda job. I always want to laugh when people say 'replying emails' is part of their job. My husband once told me that people say that and I said he's bullshitting. Now I know it's indeed true.
Of course teachers are still doing work when they are on vacation. Didn't Faith above just said 'My hubby always carries stacks of his students' assignments with him when we go on holiday.' and this is just one part of it. But of course for people who are efficient like ah-hem, me, I ignore work totally when I'm overseas.
Unlike you, I never make any attempt to dismiss other job as being easier. I'm just telling Career that teaching is not as she'd imagined. If you read my posts, you'll realise that I never say anything about other job being more stress free. On the contrary, I think you have some misconceptions about teaching. And I think I am in a better position to comment because I've tried both sectors while you probably haven't tried teaching.
Someone once said that a pilot makes the most decisions among all the jobs within the same timeframe, and a teacher is second to that. It doesn't mean that teachers have no decisions to make. Just that teachers are in non-profit organisations so we don't do the same kinda of biz decision making and negotiations naturally. I think you may need to think twice about saying who's comparing apple to orange. I never for once mentioned anything about biz comparing with teaching. You cannot compare doing biz with teaching (which is what you are doing).
yalor, so if in those type of schools life definitely got no quality lor. my friend works in a school where if the P could, he would have gotten all the teachers to wear school uniform. Needless to say, the attrition is sky high...everyone wants to leave and no one wants to be posted to that school. The P disallows transfers i heard
"emails so much a part of your job that it's worth mentioning even?"
It is so much an important tool just as our mobiles. Its definitely worth mentioning that we are picking up biz calls in the airport, in vacations etc.
"Someone once said that a pilot makes the most decisions among all the jobs within the same timeframe, and a teacher is second to that. It doesn't mean that teachers have no decisions to make. Just that teachers are in non-profit organisations so we don't do the same kinda of biz decision making and negotiations naturally"
What this someone said has little value to me. They forgot the flight controllers that largely ensure the safety of all the flights. What about doctors? They literally have lives in their hands. And in less direct manner, stock mkt, politicians making life changing policies etc. The list doesn't end at all.
Since when did I even said teachers have no decisions to make?
I was mentioning, the context differs, its hard to make a comparison like this which you agree. What you mentioned about replying emails in the context of a teacher is not the same as from a biz context at all. How could you just say its not important? Its freaking important official communication tool. The point is about the need & importance to work beyond the office. Emails, mobiles etc are only tools.
For a teacher, you seem to be doing selecting reading. Since when did I attempt to dismiss other jobs as being easier?
I was just saying every job has its stress.. and teaching is not the only stressful job.
It is pointless to compare jobs.. but as I know, teachers jobs are not 7 x 24 x 365. But my job is 7 x 24 x 365. I am not saying my job is more important but as you can see, my job has stress 7 x 24 x 365.. unlike yours, you can, totally ignore when you are overseas. I cannot.
Just because you are a teacher and you are in a better position to comment on teaching? You have to try harder to convince me..
I know it's an important tool. You're the one who's missing the point.
It's a damn important tool in teaching, so much so that if you don't read your email for a day, you might miss something really important from the p, vp, hod or another teacher who has work for you. In fact, the teachers in my school are 'frightened' of opening emails, because it always mean more new jobs to be done, but we have to do them anyway since the deadlines must come close right after the emails.
I just find it laughable that 'replying emails' is listed as part of a job. You mean you actually put it down on your resume? I really won't tell others 'teachers need to reply emails' as a reason teachers are busy becos this is such a negligible portion of the job compared to the myraid types of work we're doing.
I think just the replying emails portion is enough to illustrate to the unaware how teaching differs from other jobs in a very small aspect.
Selective reading - look who's talking. I didn't say just becos I'm a teacher, I'm in a better position to comment. I said, I have been in BOTH SECTORS - altho I have not run a biz - so I'm in a better position to comment.
And teaching is a 24/7 job.
If you cannot ignore your work at some point in time, I can only say that you're less efficient or not good at multi-tasking.
If you think that's going to make me angry, I'm afraid you've to try harder. I repeat: I've worked in both sectors. If that's not clear enough, perhaps you might want to go back to school and learn your English?
"I just find it laughable that 'replying emails' is listed as part of a job"
then u r laughing at yourself... i.e your selective reading. No one is listing that as part of the job except your reading. SM is mentioning that other jobs are ALSO (note also doesn't mean teaching has no stress). He could be working regardless whether he is on vacation or not. Its like I say I need to drive to meet my customer and you take it that I'm saying driving is my job scope and suggest somehow I'm driver by career? HALO?? Do you realize how far fetched you are getting?? You are insisting to laugh at something that isn't even written there but your own strange perception of it.
In fact, I started off my reply in this thread by mentioning how stressful the teaching job is.
"If that's not clear enough, perhaps you might want to go back to school and learn your English?
Frankly, your double standards is laughable.
Eh, by reading selectively about my posts, you're the one who's making things far-fetched. Not me.
I'm just here to make the ignorant aware that teaching ALSO has these job requirements.
And Career has addressed her thread to MOE Teachers and that's why I'm here, to tell her the reality.
sm and you don't sound like MOE teachers at all, going by your misconceptions about the job. By talking about what other jobs require doesn't help Career in her decision to switch job. And people who just want to diss teaching and teachers ought not to be in this thread at all.