Don’t give up just yet

I wonder wat is wrong with the undergrad teachers from the Universiti of Brunei Darussalam?? I tot you people are more professional than we from the Institute Technology Brunei. I have to help my sister at home with her work. You undergrad teachers are paid more than $2K per month and yet the result of your students are so bad. Wat are your priority, earning big income or producing educated future generation?

It is very easy to blame teachers when things go wrong in a classroom, especially when they’re earning a minimum of BND$2000 every month. But the thing is, their job is one which requires more than anyone thinks. Most of them deal with 5-10 classes of 30-40 students each, and more often than not, in under-equipped classrooms. I repeat, 30-40 teens per class, who are hormonal, and constantly seek attention and approval in a non-airconditioned classroom from 7.30 am to 12.30pm.

Some people go: ah well they only work half day. The truth is it doesn’t really stop there. The rest of the day will most likely be spent doing remedial classes, marking and preparing for whatever will happen tomorrow. It’s a stressful job: the future of the country is literally in their hands. How’s that for pressure?

Of course, I’m not trying to defend the teacher should she be the one proving to be incompetent, however, maybe the student might also be at fault. She had all the time to tell the teacher that she does not understand the particular word/concept/problem, whether in class or privately, but she chose to keep quiet.

I don’t know if a lot of secondary-school students reads my blog, but if there is a few, this is the most important thing I could ever ever tell you: when you are confused about something, or if you don’t understand when your teacher is explaining, tell him/her. Do not be afraid. Do not be embarassed. Do not just keep quiet. In the end, it is up to you. In the end, you are the one sitting for that exam paper. In the end, you are the one photocopying your certificates to apply for work.

The society is so hell-bent on telling what teachers need to do. They forget that it goes both ways: in fact it goes three ways. [Student-Teacher-Family] needs to work together. The blog extract I took above is an excellent example of a concerned family member (minus the UBD-graduate bashing hehe). I understand that she is concerned of her sister’s well-being and as all family members are, they want the best for their own. In this instance, do talk to her teacher. It is a teacher’s responsibility to listen and respond appropriately.

Lastly, to all teachers: remember never to lose your spirit and open-mindedness. I know sometimes, it’s easy to get disillusioned and complacent. You can feel isolated like everyone is pretty much against you, but just hang in there okay?

8 thoughts on “Don’t give up just yet

  1. Well said my dear!

    I hope people who read this will get the idea how it’s like to be a teacher.. Not as easy as what they think pushing all blames to them.


  2. EHHH ANNOYING JUA org buat blog atu. mcm.. ntah ehhh.. aDINYA atu bh pakah d skulah talor. Adinya jua talor. Jadinya inda kn coz of one teacher – baru ngajar perhaps? tarus buat adinya talor?
    Thats innate tu kali ehh.. jn luan “blame everything arah the teacher saja’

    Dont u knw there are external factors also kh? – affecting students performance? mun inda tau.. inda ku hairan. Mun ko atu jua ganya d ITB.


  3. I agree very much to how you are feeling right now Maurina… I mean, I used to dislike the idea of being a teacher, but when I tried it for fun, just tutoring different levels of students, I actually enjoyed it. Yes, it was so much pressure, talk about marking all the test paper, handling the parents, what else. You know how it goes. ๐Ÿ™‚


  4. It’s funny, when I was in high school the spotlight was always on the students: the students don’t know how to do research, it’s the students who want to be spoon-fed, it’s the students who don’t take the initiative to learn etc… It was always the student’s fault. And this was in the Science College! I can’t imagine the kind of railing students in other schools may have had to endure. An evil part of me is smiling gleefully now that the shoe is finally on the other foot ๐Ÿ˜‰ It’s almost like a game: first I blame you but soon it’ll be your turn to blame me.

    I think it’s plainly obvious that responsibility for education lies minimally with two parties: the teacher and the student (maybe with the family and the Min. of Ed. too). Neither can be completely free of blame if the student fails to learn. I went to the Science College and saw my fair share of students who didn’t want to learn as well as teachers who I would have loved to have personally kicked out of the school. I’ve even heard stories of uni. lecturers who abuse the “self-study” principle to justify not coming to lectures at all. (Makan gaji buta ๐Ÿ˜‰

    That’s why I enjoy reading material (blog posts, newspaper articles etc…) that blame the other party: it’s a way for both teachers and students to keep themselves in check to make sure that they aren’t the sole reason that the student isn’t learning.


  5. Eventhough I have been a teacher for a couple of years now, I still consider myself learning the ropes of teaching.
    Everyday there is something new that I learn about teaching.
    I understand how you feel Maurina. If you do decide to be a teacher after you graduate, always be positive. Take in all the negativity that arises and convert it to the positive.
    I hear these kind of complaints all the time. It is true LMS, before it is the student that is put under the microscope but not its the teacher that become the scapegoat.
    How to get students to tell you if they have any problems? First you have to get them talking then only they can tell you the problem. Because students nowadays are so ‘shy’.
    The hours I have used up to ‘motivate’ them and trying so hard to make them realise how at the end of the day it is them running their own show. We are only there to ‘guide’ them.
    One word explains it all ‘misconception’ of a teacher’s role.


  6. I do not understand what this person is saying. It is very easy to just blame teachers for their son or daughter or brother or sister poor performance in their test and exams (I guess there is nobody to blame). Before pointing your fingers to the teacher, try to have a look at your sister classwork or homework. If the teacher is not giving enough classwork or homework, why not you come to the particular school and discuss the problem with the relevant authority such as the principal (That is what they are for bah). I am sure some actions will be taken by the school. So, do not jump to conclusions without looking at the variables that is affecting your sister’s performance.


  7. Teachers are so unappreciated. Most of you do good work. You build great students who go on to be successful in their lives.

    But dont generalise. Just because you do good work doesnt mean that all teachers are the same as you. I have known lousy teachers in my life. As perhaps do you. There are really bad teachers out there. Teachers who shouldnt be teachers in the first place. Teachers who are teachers because they have no other options. But still we cant blame them. They try their best even though their best are not good enough.

    If we are to blame anyone, we should blame the system. And the people who take them on as teachers in the first place. The people who deemed these ‘new graduates’ as being good enough to take care of and educate our children.

    I sometimes share the writers anger. There are BAD teachers out there. But i have to learn to appreciate the good ones. As do everyone.


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