Behind The Timetable


My Timetable

When I share my contact hours with fellow colleagues from all over the world, I have to be prepared not to be pierced by all those green, envious eyes.  My timetable is drawn with a maximum 23 lessons each week, with each lesson between 30 – 40 minutes.  My 'record' was having to teach some extra classes on top of the lessons within the timetable, for about 2 extra hours every week.  

I once was quite bitter about my work schedule.  However, my visit to a friend teaching in Taiwan has completely changed my mind.  

During my stay with her, she had to wake up as early as 5 every morning.  Her school is about 40 minutes ride from her home.  She teaches from 8 in the morning until 4 in the afternoon, depending on the activities the school has arranged for the students.  Sometimes, she will go and hangout with friends till 10 or 11 at night.  When she reached home, she had to do all the housework.  In the schools that I have taught all these years, I am always envious of those colleagues that teach PE.  My this friend is a Dance teacher, but she is so much busier than all the PE teachers that I've known my whole life.

My life as a teacher only confines to the given timetable … not quite.  I find that I do spend a tremendous amount of time trying to sort the records and paperworks required.  I teach in the afternoon from 12:30 to 5:50.  Some mornings, usually two, are dedicated to extra curricular activities like club meetings and sports meetings.  The meeting normaly lasts fo 2 hours.  Sometimes, very rarely, we will be called back to school in the morning for in-house trainings and meetings.

After 15 years in service, I find that a lot of my time is used to correct exercises and assignments, especially with the higher secondary students.  Next in the list is the preparation for lessons, especially if I need to create presentations for a particular lessons.  I use Prezi nowadays for a more engaging and interesting presentation.  Due to practicality, for example the availability of the computer lab I seldom conduct a presentation-focused lesson.  I also spend much time doing "research".  Just to develop myself so that I can keep up with the students.  I know what is the latest Korean drama they are watching, who is their latest idol, what are they talking about most, which teacher they like/hate most … I spend quite a significant of time being the Internet Patrol, spying on their social platforms and feeding on their status.  All these help me to build their profiles on top of those we have in school.  And these information come in handy when a disiciplinary case is brought up.  

With an average of 190 of schooling days a year, I guess I have nothing much to complain.