Teacher: We are graded for our non-teaching work

By SG Teacher

Dear SDP,

I refer to your article titled, LHL on teachers leaving profession: "We knew we had a problem"

I find that everything mentioned in the article is well put, but I'd have to add that I don't see much of the "increase in pay" that PM Lee is talking about.

A fresh diploma graduate from NIE only earns $1,800 a month, and after CPF deductions the take home is only $1,500. Then yearly is a $100 increment.

But still, what's the big "raise"? My ex-classmate earns more in the private sector with an ITE certificate!

Just today, I reached work at 6.45am and I just left school at 6.50pm. I'm working 12 hours, almost like a security guard on a 12 hour shift. But at least security guards get overtime pay.

And just what was I doing from when classes ended at 1pm till now? Teach? No, just all the extra garbage that every other teacher in this country is doing too. If I had been teaching that whole time, I wouldn't be complaining. Because I love teaching.

It seems that only those teachers who are greedy for higher posts do all this non-teaching work willingly, while leaving their own young children at infant care.

And the best part of all is that we get graded, not for our teaching but for all the other garbage. Which is exactly why I want to leave and rather do what I like doing, teach. And the only way to do just that is tutoring.

As I write you this letter, I'm planning the end of my teaching career in Singapore's public school system. You are welcome to publish this on your website.

Best Regards,

SG Teacher

This letter was first published over at the SDP website. It is reproduced with permission.


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