i asked myself this question yesterday. “which is more important? family or students?”
the answer was obvious. family.
so why am i not spending equal (if not more) time with my family than i do with students?
on monday, when i called my mom and told her i wasnt going home for dinner, she rebuted, “work, home, work, home. is this life?” i kept quiet. she was pissed at me. but i really had work to do that i couldnt just not do. and my colleague couldnt understand why being so old already, i still feel the need to inform my parents what time i was going home/whether i wanted dinner/etc. well, my mom’s not a teacher. she doesnt know how much work we do behind the scenes, and quite frankly, no one who’s not a teacher would know. but i know she’s lonely and sad. should i wait until its too late to spend time with her? why do we always assume that our loved ones will be there tomorrow?
today, i go to school and return the horrible prelim papers. after i return the results, i see some ppl smiling as they walk out of the classroom. the class MSGs were 6.1 and 6.5 respectively. i dont understand how they can smile, when a few of us were close to tears in the staffroom. at a total loss of how to help those who dont bother abt helping themselves.
i know i told myself to get pumped up and face this term with the most energy i have. but, seemingly, trying to remove the frown on my face is sapping my energy dry. and yet, i have to dig the deepest ive ever had to find the energy to have IP coaching from 3 to 6pm everyday from monday to friday and until 12pm on saturday. even i think its ridiculous and i dont know why im doing it (i just think thats what im supposed to do). while the students might not realise that this means that i actually have to start doing my own work after 6pm, i find myself questioning why its so important that i try to improve their grades.
i never wanted to be one of those teachers whose ultimate aim was to have the best MSG for herself. but you know what, if the collective results of students with PSLE T-score of 230+ produced a fail grade of 6.1, something is wrong somewhere. and i know its not because i didnt do enough. because a class of students with PSLE T-score of less than 190 produced an MSG of 4.3 at the same stage last year, for a set of paper that was slightly more tricky and difficult. and yet, on friday, there is going to be a
slamming session mtg for us to explain what went wrong with the prelims, and i cant say anything else except the fact that i didnt inspire them enough. (but, my teachers didnt need to beg me to study. i knew i must study because its my future.)
Amma, im tired. in the end, i know ive done everything within my ability. its tough to carry on when only one party is trying and the other isnt. its tough to carry on when ppl think the results are bad because you didnt do enough.
but i will push through this year. even if everyday is a struggle, i wont give up.
and so here is my prayer.
please give me strength to pull myself together because there are definitely students to deserve my attention. these kids have tried, are trying, deserve my attention to move them up to the next grade.
please give me the mental resilience to pull through all the disappointments. for those who really dont care, i dont see the need to care.
please give me the ability to teach then in the easiest possible way for them to learn. maybe i didnt teach well enough. but this 1 mth is the last chance i have to ensure that they know everything that’s going to be tested.
please give me energy to handle 4 more weeks of 13 hrs of work in sch and 3 hrs of work at home. im going to be out of sleep and moody. and maybe just angry at anything else other than what im supposed to do. just these 4 mths. after that, im converting to one of those ppl who knows that family always comes first and if the students dont study hard enough, its their loss. i dont need to sacrifice family and personal time to beg ppl to study.
please teach me to be patient with those who couldnt be bothered previously, but are not starting to wake up.
please create a miracle, because thats what they need now. perhaps a wake up call. or an inkling of an interest to have an aim.