Sunday, December 16, 2012

Care Bears

There are pros and cons of being a caring teacher. Some people pretend to be caring and act like Mr/Mrs/Ms Know-It-All about their students, especially in front of their superiors and other teachers. The most probable location for this buffoonery is usually the canteen. With perfect audience with high tolerance for bullshit, these Know-It-Alls spring into action everytime a kid's name is mentioned. They knew everything about the kids; his heartbreaks, his drug use, his innermost thoughts,his family composition, you name it, they know it. When other people try to chime in, they would look at you like you're some kind of imbeciles, and although you know your facts are correct, these people would always find a way to prove you wrong.

Well, don't get me wrong. I know sometimes I couldn't be bothered with these dramas in these kids' lives; dramas that they inflicted upon themselves, sometimes. So, I pretend not to care and that's why during Restu Ilmu, where these kids bawl their eyes out, I would just stay calm and enjoy the show. You may call me a hardened bitch but I believe some of them are just putting up an act. If you're really concerned about your studies, you won't wait until the last minute to cry and ask for forgiveness from your teachers. You would not forget to do the homework given or at least appreciate the handouts given. And you would not even think of raising your voice to the very people who made you not stupid and feed you with knowledge that you so desperately need to pass the biggest exam in your goddamned lives. But as usual, the Know-It-Alls would cry along and sob and weep and hug and wipe these crocodile tears from their beloved students.

The cons of not being caring is kids hate you, they know you're not a donkey that can be rode around, therefore, no hugging or invasion of personal space are allowed. One kid learnt this the hard way, she loved to hug me for no reason at all, asked me to fetch her at home when it as raining since she couldn't come to school in such weather and twice, she asked me to send her to BSN to withdraw her scholarship (yes, underprivileged kids have all sorts of financial aids from the government, so all this crap you see on tv, exaggerated beyond belief for commercial purpose is all lies. People quit school not because they are poor, but because they are lazy) and she tried to add me on Facebook. These kids just crawl all over your personal space when you're nice to them. That's why the first time you go into the classroom, the most favorite question that they will ask you is, "Are you married?"

So, for the Know-It-Alls, they would answer with as much coyness as possible. Kids put them on an untouchable pedestal. Kids worship them. And usually they would treat these kids, and announce it to the whole world. If you want to do some charity, just do it without having to make it a public announcement. Let it be a secret between you and the kids (though knowing these kids, the very word 'secret' doesn't exist in their vocabulary.

When the Know-It-Alls have some problem with the kids whom they adore and vice versa, they would also make it a public service announcement, again the most favorite place to do the deed is the canteen. Owh, how their hearts break and why did the kids act the way they do to a teacher who really care for their well-being. And then, they turn into Detective Conan, on a mission to find out if the kids have family problems that cause them to rebel and turn into Godzilla and terrorize the classroom. Everything is a soap opera with these people. They deserve awards for their dramatic performance. 

As for me, since I'm well known for having lack of emotions and no display of public feelings to unrelated people in my personal life, kids don't hump my legs like dogs do when they are asking for attention. Even with related people to my personal life know that I don't shed tears on purpose without valid reasons. And if you ask me whether I care or care NOT about my students, there's a line that I draw when it comes to teacher and students relationship. I care academically and to a certain extent, personal issues since I'm the form teacher, which means that sometimes, I've to go to my students' houses if they don't come to school for a long time. And that's about it. If you want me to hold the students' hands and cry with them, sorry I can't do that. I had a bad time myself when I was studying, nobody held my hands then. I sucked it up and kept standing up even when I was down and kicked while I was still lying down. Even then, I kept fighting and through my stubbornness, I succeed. So, if you kids complain about being tired, having to come to school everyday, come rain or shine, to attend extra classes, imma boop your head, you ungrateful little shits. The teachers sacrifice their time and energy staying back way after school hours to teach your sorry little asses and you complain about being tired? Look who's talking. Yes, people, kids complain about attending extra classes that cost them nothing, my school even provide lunch for these kids. And parents complain too, saying that night classes aren't necessary to ensure their children's success in the exam. They aren't willing to pay RM100 for night classes for all subjects, which in the city, you've to pay RM100 just one subject and sometimes, just for one session. Yeah, and when their kids don't score in the exam, teachers will get all the blame. If your kids are lazy and don't want to come to school, are we teachers supposed to go to your house and bath your kids and chauffeur them to school? For the Know-It-Alls, they might have no problem in doing that. But for me, there is a line that should not be crossed. There is a limit that the students and the parents should observe. We are teachers, yes. We are supposed to care, yes. But we are not your children's caretakers and when we give you our phone numbers, that doesn't mean you can SMS or call us anytime you want. Teachers have social lives, you see. And we don't look after your kids 24/7. As for students, a night before the exam is not a good time to ask your teacher for the question that will come out for the exam tommorow. You could've paid attention to my teaching in the classroom. Or you could've written down the tips that I gave in class. 

So, there you go. Care is a delicate word. When you say you don't care, it usually means you do care a little bit but not so much to narrate it to others. Teaching is a profession, true, but when you're dealing with humans, the profession becomes a life-long commitment. So, if you're SPM leavers looking for an easy way out to further your studies by choosing teaching as a career, my advice is think about it. Think about it a thousand times if you're not that keen to care. If you just think about the money, trust me, it is so not worth it with all the problems that you have to bear. If you are looking for an easy job with a lot of holiday, teaching is not it. Even during holidays, you are required to work 2/3 of your holidays. Unless you want to be scorned by your principal, you can choose to fake illness or going abroad during the year end holiday to avoid coming to school for meetings of Golden Holiday. By the way, I hate the very idea of Golden Holiday. Like attending one day of tuition during the holiday will miraculously make these kids smarter. Let kids enjoy their holiday, and the teachers can enjoy theirs in peace too. But of course, nobody cares about the teachers' state of mind. No wonder more teachers are depressed and it is the top profession with most teachers being admitted to mental hospitals. Such is the price for caring.

No comments:

Post a Comment