Former MOE Teacher Reveals School Penalize Teachers For Focusing On Teaching
By Anonymous Tuition Teacher
In a school where I once taught at before I left MOE, we hired a very good adjunct teacher. An adjunct teacher is a teacher who only teach. No need to do form teacher duty, no need to do CCA or any other school related committee work. In return, the adjunct teacher takes a significant pay cut. This adjunct teacher was a former teacher who deliberately chose to be an adjunct teacher so that she can can focus on teaching.
With more free periods, she spends a lot of them preparing worksheets for the entire department. The department teachers are aware of that, and the department is very grateful for her high quality worksheets, all of which take a lot of time to prepare. As a result, while she was with that school, the results went up by a lot.
However, most of the other school teachers outside the department are unaware of her contributions. If they or outsiders were aware, they would be asking why aren’t the worksheets produced by the Head of Department, Subject Heads or Senior Teachers or other teachers?
The answer is that spending the bulk of the time on teaching and learning matters is considered as low level work. It doesn’t add much value to the annual work review. Teachers are better off spending their time on their CCAs, rehearsals, student leadership programs, or other school matters that can raise their public profile in school. All these add more value to the annual work review.
There are some regular teachers who want to spend more time on teaching. But the school will give them more work that keeps them too busy or too tired to do so.
There are many teachers who after their school day ends at 2pm, do CCA or meetings till 6-7pm. There is often something going on in school till about 530 to 6pm that keeps them occupied at least three out of five days a week. There are teachers who have to put aside their regular lesson preparations because there are performance rehearsals that stretch late into the evenings several times a week, burn weekends on adventure camps for uniform groups or coaching students for sports competitions or school admin matters to deal with.
Most teachers teach about 150 to 200 different students each week. If you give them other things to do because teachers who only teach are considered doing low value work, then of course many of the students need to get tuition in order to cope. Most of my former colleagues who spend most of their time on teaching and less time on other things, tend to be ranked at the bottom group during the annual work review.
So, while the students are thankful to this particular adjunct teacher who prepared good quality worksheets on a weekly basis, they are all unaware that in order for such a good work to be done, the adjunct teacher had to take a big pay cut. She has to take a big pay cut so that she can focus on teaching, without insulted by another group of high achieving teachers who like to say, “if you like to teach only, then you should resign and go be a private tutor.
This was reproduced with permission from editors of The Real Singapore.
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