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Hi, everyone! I have finally managed to write something. I hope 2017 will bring many great things for all of us!
-TM, 2nd February 2017

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Life as a Teacher in 2017

     Dear me, has it been that long since I first stepped foot in my school as a newly appointed teacher?

     Five years.

     Five years, which does not sound like a particularly long period for much senior teachers. Some of them have been in the field for ten, fifteen, twenty years. I know a few who have recently retired. They should have around thirty to thirty five years of teaching experience under their belt, I would think.

     Five years, which to those who have recently entered service, may feel like they would soon come the same mark without so much as a blink of the eyes. I'd started to think of retiring in my second year of teaching, come to think of it. The staff and teachers at my school used to joke about it.

     Five years, which to those who have perhaps recently graduated and are currently waiting to be posted (I must say I have no idea of the current situation. Are there any of you out there who are?) may seem like an eternity. After all, it took slightly more than five years (six for me) for you to have completed your studies in the training institutes. And now that you're waiting to be posted, which feels like it will never happen, you cannot possibly imagine what it would feel like to have been in the field for five years.

     And five years to me, which in a strange but real and relatable way that time works for everyone seemed to have passed so swiftly that I cannot see it go by without trying but also feels like a long, long time. To be exact, it is roughly equivalent to one fifth of my entire life.

     January 16th seems like it happened a long time ago. I have to actually sit down and recall what had happened on the day I reported for duty at the JPN. When I have managed to remember the details, though, I cannot help but muse at how anxious my friends and I had been. How much we had looked forward to getting posted.

     Now, five years later, I wonder how many of us are still teaching. Probably more than 90%, as I have heard of a few who had decided teaching was not what they wanted to and have left to do other things. I'm sure most are married, with children and perhaps less time to spend at school.

     In the five years that I have been teaching, I've also experienced a lot in terms of teaching and education. The kids who were in Year One when I came to the school are now in Year 6. Haslina and her friends went for their UPSR last year and are now in Form One in secondary school. I went to at least ten courses on KSSR, if not more. (I managed to go to KSSR courses every year, from the one for Year 2 up to Year 6). I went for a course on I-THINK, VLE Frog, LINUS and many more, all of which reflect the ever changing education system in the country. Last year, the new format for UPSR was implemented (I hope I can devote at least one post to this). This year, a revised version of KSSR for Year One started, with new textbooks, activity books and DSKP. My school was chosen to be in the Dual Language Programme which is akin to PPSMI. We were also chosen for something called the Highly Immersed Programme, which we have yet to understand what it is about but definitely know that it has something to with English.

     On a much more personal tone, I also came to understand what it feels like to be under constant pressure, heavy workloads, having sleepless nights and long hours at work and also how to be on the point of giving up on everything. Alhamdulillah, I did not.

     In short, a lot has happened. I'm sure you have been through a lot too. I cannot tell if people still blog or read blogs. I know many of my favourite bloggers have decided to stop blogging and turn to much easier ways of sharing such as Instagram and Facebook. I too, prefer to post on Instagram. It has occurred to me though, that one of my very few talents may lie in writing, and Instagram and Facebook and Twitter is a little limited in that sense. For one, too many people know me there. Here, most of the people who drop by have no idea who I am. And what amazes me is that the blog still manages to attract readers. There are visitors every single day.

     Which brings me to this conclusion- if there is good in something, keep doing it. I cannot promise to keep writing and sharing, but I do hope whatever I have posted is still of value to some of you. I have had so many people contact me personally, asking for advice and insights. Though I was not able to be of much help, I'm glad that we all know that there is something we can learn from one another.

     Let's continue to be part of that community of people who share, care and love.

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