Age of Awareness
Published in

Age of Awareness

Dear High School Teachers,

I love you. I love the unique schooling experience you have given me, even though it is not that unique in the eyes of others — an average performing school with mediocre sports teams and music groups, and strong Catholic values that are only pushed through the mouths of principals and teachers every morning assembly.

I can see through your eyes. You all have strong passion when you started teaching. You all think that you will make a difference to our lives. But it doesn’t stay long.

The moment you walk into a meeting room with a frowning head teacher, you know you are in trouble. You know your class didn’t do well enough in the public exams. You know the class next door did much better.

You know better than anyone else, that the close bonding you have formed with the class, the support you gave them when they are down, the fun activities inside and outside the classroom you have planned… all does not matter now. What your principal want, is what the parents want, is how the society evaluate a good school, a good teacher, and a good student — good grades.

I feel sorry for you. The school has arranged so many professional development activities for you, teaching you classroom management, growth mindset, etc. But they never let you learn the most important thing to be a great teacher — what skills are useful to our kids.

Yes, I too, want to be a teacher. But I don’t want to be in a school, a tutorial center, or a kid’s house.

I want to be in a world, where everyone have the opportunity to learn what is useful and interesting to them, where everyone get assessed based on their ability on the work they want to do, not on a standardize test that measures mostly exam skills.

I still don’t know how. Therefore I am experimenting with everything, from teaching friends some fun facts, to building an activity platform for high school students.

Yes, I too, want to be a teacher. After these mindless years doing exam papers, I really wish I had spend my time learning useful skills. I can’t imagine how much resources and opportunities for our younger generations are wasted in order to fit in the system.

And yet, university education does not give the freedom you promised.

Study hard now and if you get into university you will be able to learn what you like.

This is a lie.

University is just another system that people crack. Take the easiest class, join clubs that gives you a good title and so called skills. Do endless tests and assessment to be a corporate monkey and earn status.

You can learn what you like, but there is nothing to do with university, it’s the free time being in university, the activities you participate in, the people you hang out with.

Yes, I too, want to be a teacher. I hope I can maintain the enthusiasm.

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