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Old 16th May 2010, 09:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Are Singapore teachers overworked?

Taken from
http://sg.yfittopostblog.com/2010/05...rs-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 teachers wife, Ms Aishah Quek chronicles her husbands typical work day. She bemoans her husbands punishing workload and questions the seeming non-existence of a work-life balance.

A teacher in a local primary school, Ms Queks 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 thats just about the time a teachers 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 wed both be busy marking assignments, preparing for the next days lessons or just be too tired.

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

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

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?

Editors note: *Names have been changed to protect the teachers identity.

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Old 17th May 2010, 01:25 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Are Singapore teachers overworked?

The dedicated ones would be overworked as they think about their students almost all the time. Those that don't care about teaching, they probably are not overworked.

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Old 17th May 2010, 02:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Are Singapore teachers overworked?

They are earning good money anyway

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Old 17th May 2010, 02:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Are Singapore teachers overworked?

Originally Posted by mylittlebusines View Post
They are earning good money anyway
Yes, they are earning good money but also have to depends what education level they teach. Certain level of course there's stressed but i guess it is all worthwhile compare that you work outside. Government job are always beta. I believe not even the pay but the bonus also can get a lot.

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Old 17th May 2010, 08:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Are Singapore teachers overworked?

A true teacher will only find teaching as a passion, as an educator to share their knowledge and educate student into a better person to prepare for the society. Hence if one fine day, a teacher find teaching to be stressful, tough or whatever, i think they shouldnt be a teacher in the first place. yup just my opinion, no offence = )


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Old 18th May 2010, 08:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Are Singapore teachers overworked?

Actually, most of the teachers these days spend more time doing paperwork rather than truly educating the students. They spend more time marking papers, handing new roles/responsibilities, dealing with irresponsible/unreasonable parents than spending time making a difference in today's children.

I have friends/cousins who are teachers and I really sympathize with their workload.

Someone who was once a teacher shared this, "How can you teach your students about life, if you don't have a life yourself?" The sad part is, most of education system's teachers these days don't really have a proper healthy life. They are paid well yes but they are extremely overworked to the point where most of them aren't actually doing effective work in my view.

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Old 18th May 2010, 09:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Are Singapore teachers overworked?

Yup teachers are overworked.. I know coz someone in my family is a teacher and I can tell its a very unhealthy lifestyle. Its not worth to be a teacher

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Old 19th May 2010, 12:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Are Singapore teachers overworked?

Yes, they're overworked. The pay is not that good for the hours one has to put in.

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Old 19th May 2010, 12:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Are Singapore teachers overworked?

most of the time.. i hear teachers saying... 99% of the time they are doing admin work.. and have very little time to really teach and prepare for their lessons...
thats where the stress comes in i guess..

they want to be good teachers who can dedicate to teaching the students well...
just that.. the amount of work they have to do(apart from teaching) is draining all their time and energy..

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Old 23rd May 2010, 10:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Are Singapore teachers overworked?

in fact depend individual school principals.

If that school the principal very "ON" want to impress the MOE

those teachers /staffs in that school will be overwork.

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Old 23rd May 2010, 11:55 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Are Singapore teachers overworked?

who says teacher r gd paid. At ard 40+ they will hit the max pay of ard 5k lor. lol. the start pay is nice, but the ending pay is nt nice. Plus its so hard work for them

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Old 24th May 2010, 04:04 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Are Singapore teachers overworked?

Originally Posted by jian View Post
A true teacher will only find teaching as a passion, as an educator to share their knowledge and educate student into a better person to prepare for the society. Hence if one fine day, a teacher find teaching to be stressful, tough or whatever, i think they shouldnt be a teacher in the first place. yup just my opinion, no offence = )
It says it all. I do agree with you.
Teachers do know what kind of lifestyle teaching could give them, but still they pursued it. Although their jobs are draining them, their hard works, effort, dedication, truly are appreciated.

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Old 24th May 2010, 04:52 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Are Singapore teachers overworked?

Students are overworked too.

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Old 24th May 2010, 05:04 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Are Singapore teachers overworked?

I am laughing. ha. ha.

if the teachers ARE overworked, we would have passed at least.

they are SO underworked.

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Old 24th May 2010, 05:15 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Are Singapore teachers overworked?

There are others who work 2 jobs just to survived in SG, these are more overworked then Teachers.

Beside during the School holidays, teachers also had breaks unless they have to return to school for CCA or remedial lessons but then again CCA and remedial lessons does not happen everyday during the school holidays

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Old 26th May 2010, 05:15 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Are Singapore teachers overworked?

They're overworked compared to certain jobs and they're underworked compared to other jobs/2 jobs.(Then again comparing 2 jobs to 1 job is kinda unfair)

Also a teacher's amount of work is not directly proportionate to a student's grades. One can have a overworked teacher with failing students.

I'm kinda curious to the so called 'good pay' people think teachers are earning.

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Old 26th May 2010, 05:18 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Are Singapore teachers overworked?

yep, thats why they are highly paid. and they pay is going to increase agn due to the lack of teachers

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Old 28th May 2010, 08:20 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Are Singapore teachers overworked?

I believe other professions work equally hard too. Not just the teachers. If every profession were to step out to voice their unhappiness about being overworked, how many times can you sympathise with these people?

Moreover, the teachers are well paid. So in a way, MOE have already compensated by giving attractive salary and benefits.

And if the teacher join teaching becoz of the good pay, then he'll just have to accept that these are all part and parcel of the job. Afterall, you're selling your service for that amount of pay. Its a DEAL right from the moment you sign that paper, even though these kind of pains are not stated in the contract. But, you have a choice to continue the deal or to break the deal.

And as for teachers who really work for passion. I dunno. For me, its really hard to talk about passion when you're already struggling to survive for yourself. If that passion is so strong, then perhaps all the hardwork is worth it as long as you see the results produced by the students.

All in all, I'll still have to say that no matter what kind of job you choose, it is your CHOICE.
We all complain and whine becoz the going is really tough, but don't forget that ultimately we can all choose to stay or to leave.

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Old 28th May 2010, 08:36 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Are Singapore teachers overworked?

This isn't about teachers saying that they are overworked. Neither is this saying that other professions are not working or not stressful.

I am not a teacher but I have seen plenty of teachers who still work at their job without a single whine or complain and I'm saying that they are really overworked.

Yes, there are other people working 2 jobs, or stuff like that. That's true. Some of these jobs however are more of tedious rather than stressful. Overworked in this case isn't just an issue of long hours or number of hours you put in, but also the stress and responsibilities involved.How many of you have actually deal with the irresponsible, immature teenagers of today, a whole bunch of them and then have to deal with unreasonable parents at the same time, on top of carrying other responsibilities day in day out?

And to those who say if they are overworked, all the students would have passed, that's the most ridiculous notion i have ever heard. That's throwing the onus of your own results to others, the hallmark of irresponsibility.

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Old 28th May 2010, 09:11 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Are Singapore teachers overworked?

I find myself in two minds here. Yes, we might argue that teachers should be paid more and worked less, because they hold such a key role in society -- they're responsible for the success of Singapore's future generations. But couldn't the same argument also apply to many, many other professions without which society would grind to a standstill? Policemen, construction workers, cleaners, bus drivers, and so on?

As for stress levels, I agree that it can be extremely taxing to deal with several classes of bratty kids, and (to compound matters) their brattier parents. But we might take in comparison, say, a police officer (I think the pay is roughly equivalent). Is having to deal with criminals/suspects, to risk your life responding to calls, and to handle unreasonable or false complaints, any less stressful?

I do highly respect and admire teachers -- and if I were less of a materialist, I'd probably opt for teaching instead of being a scumbag lawyer (wannabe) But I'm hesitant about putting them on a pedestal, especially considering society's other countless unsung heroes that slog tirelessly without getting due recognition, too.

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