January 8, 2013

Who Said Being A Teacher Is As Easy As ABC?

I never thought that being a teacher will be this hard. The hardship that no one can ever imagine until you walk in a teacher’s shoes.

I have always love English subject, since I was a kid. And to be offered to be a part of TESL-ians is like a little girl got a bundle of candies. The walk in the park was not last long. For a moment, I forgot that I was offered a scholarship by the Ministry of Education and I have signed a contract to serve them for 5 years.

Everything turns out into a nightmare when I have to go for interim period at this one particular school. A sudden change of the school (I was told I had to go to a school nearby my house at first...), be it the environment, the location, the culture, really de-motivated myself. I have lost my passion towards teaching, not that I had one before this, but I thought it can be inculcated if I give myself a chance. However, interim period shows me no mercy. It denies my drive.

I was placed at an islamic school which previously governed by the state government and just recently the government took over all of this type of schools in Johore. We call this type of schools as Sekolah Agama Bantuan Kerajaan (SABK). Yes, it is as you thought it is. Lack of facilities, poor condition of the current buildings, secluded, you name it. In terms of the students, I could not say much. It is worse than I thought. How well could low and average proficiency level of students handle 20 subjects in 2 streams? You tell me. Some of them behave pretty well, some are very rude, and most of them are mute in front of me.

This school has no quarters for teachers since all the teachers are locals and their houses are within reach in, the most, 20 minutes. And because of that, I have to temporarily stay at the warden’s house in which is a part of the hostel, located at the very end of the hostel building. It was old, rusty, dusty, and gloomy. I have to share room with the warden and there goes my privacy. The only space that I can call my own, is now perished.

And now, the school holiday is over. It is 2013. I was given 28 periods in a week and I have to be a classroom teacher, for the last class of first former. School session starts as early as 7.30 in the morning and ends at 4 in the evening, except for Friday. I teach 8 classes and all are lower forms. Since PMR will be abolished starting next year, I have to conduct PBS which has 6 stages for each of the 8 classes. I have to write down my lesson plan everyday and submit it to my principal every Friday. At nights, I have to prepare materials to teach my students or I have to mark my students’ homeworks (if any of them submit it to me). I can’t use powerpoint presentation to teach for there is no electricity outlet in the class, so I have to draw or print out and paste the picture on a cardboard. Sometimes, I have to use my own money to photocopy all the handouts, task sheets, and passages since my school doesn’t offer that service. My Saturdays are usually will be stolen for some seminars, talks, meetings, and things as such. Not to mention, I have to conduct (including preparing the questions and marking the papers) monthly test as well as mid-term and final exams.

The saddest part is, I can’t be myself at school. I can’t make friends (I tried but I failed) and so I don’t have friends at school. I am homeless. I don’t eat and live well here. My basic need as a human life is not fulfilled. And so, my life is kinda pathetic at the moment.