Being buried in busy-ness

The workshop by CLEAR will start in 30 minutes. But 15 minutes ago, I decided I would stay in my office to work on my to-do list.

I’ve often preached to teachers about the importance of continuing professional development, and as far as possible I have tried to practise what I preach, by taking part in events that will help enrich my professional repertoire. This upcoming event by CLEAR (the teaching development unit at CUHK) fits into my professional interests, and I’d been reminding myself in the last few days about this workshop, hoping that I would eventually find the time to attend it. But 15 minutes ago, I had to give it up, because there were still so many urgent things I hadn’t finished.

This reminds me of the plight of teachers. I’m sure many teachers are keen about professional development, but in comparison, the other one and thousand one things that they have to do on a daily basis, like marking students’ homework, setting test and exam papers, contacting parents, and planning and organising co-curricular activities, are much more ‘urgent’. As a result, professional development is relegated to a low-priority item.

This is not a desirable situation. But unless all of us involved in education, school administrators, teachers, parents, government education officials, re-establish our priorities, we will only be buried deeper in unreflective busy-ness.

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