“You have actually reminded me about the way I have been teaching my S6 girls this year…. With limited lessons per week, what I am doing is to cram as much as I can into each 70-min lesson, so that they are ‘better-equipped’ for DSE…. I have actually forgotten the ‘human touch’ dimension…. I used to be an encouraging teacher, who always encouraged my students to work hard for their dreams… But now, I am more like a teaching machine. Sigh!” Ani said, in response to my post about injecting a human touch into my talk in GZ.
I know that is not necessarily true; it’s just that Ani is very demanding of herself. Still, another former student lamented:
‘Human touch’ is always one of the key elements I look for in being a teacher; not only among my students but also among my co-workers. I always look for such partners to work with, but tell me where to find them.
I know what she means. This is also one of the frustrations I have been having about education. There are teachers who want to teach from the heart. However, as I have said in a previous post, the school as a social institution cannot be fully exempt from workplace politics. At the same time, there will be unprofessional people working in schools. All of that will hurt the morale of those who want to do their best in educating their students (we have to admit there are people working in schools whose priority has nothing to do with educating students). Some teachers will get very frustrated and leave the teaching profession. Others numb their hearts to stop feeling. Still there are those who join workplace tribal groups to start political battles.
What can we do under the circumstances? I don’t have an easy answer. My own response is: At the end of the day, can I still be proud of myself, because, while having to manoeuvre my way for survival in this intricate web of relationships and tribal interests, I haven’t given up on my primary duty – which is to educate my students.