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No work-life balance for Singapore teachers?

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    QX179R's Avatar
    85,625 posts since Feb '08
    • Are Singapore teachers overworked?

      Many people call it one of the most under-appreciated career choices in Singapore today.

      In a forum letter in The Straits Times on 15 May 2010, a teacher’s wife, Ms Aishah Quek chronicles her husband’s typical work day. She bemoans her husband’s punishing workload and questions the seeming non-existence of a work-life balance.

      A teacher in a local primary school, Ms Quek’s husband wakes up at 5am every weekday, and leaves home by 6am, to reach school in time for morning ‘guard duty’ at 7am. After remedial lessons, co-curricular activities and administrative duties, her husband reaches home at 8pm for dinner, before, surprise, surprise, he starts to work from home.

      If these normal working hours are representative of a typical day in the life of a teacher, do teachers; the people who play an integral role in shaping young, impressionable minds, have sufficient time to relax and recharge, before the next day comes around?

      A student in the morning session has about 6 hours of lessons per day (from 7.30am to 1pm). But that’s just about the time a teacher’s after-teaching hours begin.

      “On a typical day, we mark assignments, conduct remedial lessons and complete many administrative tasks, which often extend long beyond our official working hours,” said John*, 35, a married primary school teacher with a one-year-old son.

      Another educator, Seline*, 27, who called it quits after three years, said, “When my husband and I were both teaching, we hardly had any quality time in the evenings because we’d both be busy marking assignments, preparing for the next day’s lessons or just be too tired.”

      Added another teacher, Lionel*, “I already feel drained by the time I start marking my students’ work after 5pm. This increases the likelihood of making errors.”

      KJ*, 23, a fresh graduate from the National Institute of Education, knows that the teaching road ahead may not be an easy one.

      “I believe we just need to find a balance, set our priorities and hope our senior colleagues will share tips with us on how best to handle different situations,” she said.

      My informal survey revealed that most teachers joined the profession to pursue their passion to equip the young with knowledge, and invaluable life skills. However, teachers today are feeling the strain.

      Are our teachers overworked? How do you think the Ministry of Education can help teachers have a better work-life balance?

      *Names have been changed to protect the teachers’ identity.

  • the Bear's Avatar
    149,694 posts since Feb '01
    • this has been going on for years..

      my folks who were teachers, also worked like that.. but at that time, they had things like school holidays to recover although they were called back occasionally during the school holidays..

      these days, it's much worse for the teachers as they are made to go back during the school holidays for a lot of stuff...

      i remember because mom used to come home with shitloads of worksheets and test papers which my sister and i sometimes helped by marking the multiple choice questions..

  • x4dish's Avatar
    113 posts since Aug '09
    • hey tell me about it. im a part time tuition teacher, and im practically a walking zombie when i walk home from the bus stop everynight.


      dont ever be a teacher. its exploitation

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