With teachers gradually losing their grasp on the concept of punctuality and abilities to keep track of time, the painful sight of long queues that greet you after climbing down 10 blocks of stairs has become more prevalent as the year goes on.
Recess was supposed to be a time of relaxation. It’s supposed to be a time when we catch up with our friends, find out what nonsense they were up to, and how screwed up their lives are etc. Nowadays, most students spend the majority of this rare period of freedom, queueing up for (in my case), excessively overpriced, immensely undersized food.
It is extremely heartbreaking to see how our dear recesses are being eaten up (no pun intended) by various teachers whose “Let me finish this question” requires a severely underestimated 10 mins. A simple “What’s 1+1?” question can lead to this huge amazing miraculous life story on how Tom-worked-so-hard-and-finally-achieved-his dreams. I mean, don’t get me wrong I feel great for whoever Tom-guy this teacher’s talking about, but with all due repsect, you releasing the class on time for once is more miraculous than what Tom will ever achieve in his entire lifetime.
Not to mention horrible time planning. As much as we appreciate your kind generosity, allocating 40 mins to complete a fill-in-the-blank worksheet and 10 mins to teach a major topic that constitutes most of the marks in the finals isn’t exactly… efficient? On the other hand, we have some really passionate teachers. Really, really passionate and enthusiastic about teaching. Till the point whereby we’re forced to complete our homework in class or we’re not allowed to be dismissed. The ‘home’ in homework obviously means nothing right?
And the funny bit is that teachers seem to have this ironic habit of stressing how important punctuality is. They may argue that their phones ran out of battery, but don’t you find it fascinating how they always seem to have a fully charged tablet, a MacBook, a smartphone, and another smartphone on their desks everytime you conduct their lessons? Maybe I should have given you the benefit of the doubt. After all, tablets, laptops, and smartphones can’t tell time right?
You may argue that hey, I have so much work to mark and I lost track of the time. If you have been paying attention in class, 15 years of education would have taught you that teachers follow a standard procedure and protocol when they’re dishing out this excuse. They’ll start of by saying how much work they have that needed to be marked, followed by rambling on how horribly atrocious some of your classmates’ work are, then proceed by telling you that setting worksheets require humongous amounts of time, and finally end off by rehearsing to you the mindset that since we teachers have worked so hard to provide for you, you should respect our hard work and hand in quality assignments. If you haven’t noticed, what they are saying plays nearly no relevance to them explaining why they’re late, and also, if you haven’t noticed, it’s already 15 mins past your recess.
When you came late and dismiss us late, you affect us more than you can imagine. Toilet breaks becomes a luxury, having quick chats with friends become extinct, and now I have no time to style my hair because I have to rush to the next class. The teacher would be expectedly angry since ‘we were not punctual’, and lashes out at us, vent their frustrations, voice their displeasures etc. The lesson would be dragged on and on till it overshoots, again, the next teacher would be enraged as well, and this vicious cycle just cruelly repeats itself.
At the end of the day, teachers have an equal part to play in ensuring that punctuality is not a forgotten virtue. Students make the effort to run up flights of stairs to ensure they’re early for lessons, and similarly you teachers should uphold this value too. Like what my teacher (who is always late) tells me, “It’s never nice to wait for people”, it’s really inconvenient when we have to force fit our schedules and adapt into yours. The staff room may prohibit food and drinks, but I’m pretty sure they allow alarm clocks.
And a smartphone.
Lhu Wen Kai
Students run up stairs to be on time for class? That never happened in my school. If you were late, you blamed it on the teacher that kept you late. A lot of people at my school had no respect for teachers though. My mum once rang up the school and asked to speak to one of the teachers. She was told to ring back the next day as the teacher was at the police station with a pupil and was expected to be there for the rest of the day. If pupils didn’t respect the law, were they really going to respect teachers?
Hi Nikki! Just saw this comment, more than 2 years after you posted it haha. Apologies for the late response! But yea, that’s how the culture is like in Singapore. Teachers really don’t care if the previous teacher releases us late – it’s not their problem.
With that being said, I do think teachers need to be treated better. Their salaries are frankly, a joke, given the amount of hours they need to put in, even after leaving the school compounds. Not to mention the emotional stress and their respective commitments. It is only by taking care of the teachers’ welfare that we can ensure a better education system for students.
I really enjoyed this post. Reminded me of my old days in school. Just never looked at it from this angle. Now when I recall the old times it makes me laugh. :)
Haha tbh tho I thought it was just a Singapore thing, because from the impressions I get from watching American high school dramas the students seem to just leave when the bell rings. Here in Singapore the bell is just a tool to tell us measure how late we are released from class haha.
I am from India, its very similar here . Haha
I loved the ironic humour running through this piece and have a son your age who I am sure feels pretty much the same way you do about teachers chewing up his time!
Hey Michelle! Send him to this post, and help me to tell him “I feel you”.
I have shown it him and he laughed too.
Well, its really unfair most of the time. When teachers are late, its nothing, they still proceed to lessons..but when a student is late..even for just a mere 5-10 minutes, they don’t let you in until the next period or you need to write a promissory note not to be late again. I know they are the teachers and need to be respected but having that kind of behavior means not respecting their own students. How can they build the word “discipline” in that?
Yea, I’m feeling you bruh. And they will be like “hey, it’s your life man. If you don’t bother spending an extra few minutes to bla bla…” yea something along the lines. After awhile tho I kinda get where they’re coming from, but over the long run, I really can’t see how those extra few minutes everyday have helped me at all in my progress. Kinda make school more tiring for me to be honest. Different people, different views I guess.
Yeah,,,I agree on your views. I think we’re the same at some point.