Saturday, December 3, 2016

Random thoughts: Human capital

Human capital? 

What comes to your mind? 

The amount of money your skills and network can generate, payoff? Right? In simplicity, our work. 

My work for the year 2016, is drawing to a close, as usual,I am going to review my human capital.

When I started 2016, I wrote E3. I want to do be effective, efficient and engaging in my teaching. I think I done all three. I do not want to review how effective, neither do I want to put a value to it, I know I have make a conscious effort in these areas and I made progress. Period.

That is the capital part.

Now the human part. 

That is the high point.

I never thought I would almost break into tears talking about a pupil. She did very well for my subject. In the past, she would already be a asset to my KPI, a plus, a cause for joy. But because she did badly for the rest, she couldn't get into even normal stream. Whenever I think of her, my heart aches. Human... 

I have a colleague just gotten married. We discuss work even late into the night, and it will go on to philosophical views on teaching, people and expectations etc. 

On the day after her wedding, she texted me to thank me for attending the wedding. She told me she felt like crying when she saw me. 

She said she wanted to take a picture with me, made me feel like her father. Human... She said she really appreciate the trust and confidence I have on her regarding her work.

On the last day of school day, my co-form organized a class party. My pupils ask me for ice-creams LOL.
I remembered jumping with joy when running towards them at the canteen. Human... I felt like a little kid again. My pupils start bringing food to me, some told me their mother prepare it with them, so just wanted me to taste more food. I felt like a star.

I remember telling a mother during end of year meet parent session, that her daughter is visibly unhappy from semester 2 onwards. And in term 4, even more visibly so. I was rather afraid that I might make things worse. But luckily the mum felt apologetic and when I checked with my pupil the next day, she told me her mum did sayang her and told her that she is sorry for pushing her so much. But the weirdest thing is, I felt no positive energy from her. 

I even manage to have some exchanges about work, life, philosophy about academic pursuit with a parent, something that never happened in my past decade as a teacher. She even send me videos about a wonderful teacher, how that teacher touched life. That video is how we use human capital not to prosper, but help others. 

My supervisor ask me, what is my high point. I told her help my colleague get a good appraisal grade and see her smile when I told her she finally made it... 

The dark side of human.

I lost quite a bit of self-confidence, self-doubts about my capabilities as a manager has set in. 

I remember, only ticking "communication and team building" as strength in the list of areas in my review paper. I can't honestly think of other strengths.

In fact, this post on review of human capital, I can't find anything else to write, except people. Can't write results, systems set up, culture etc. 

But it's ok. Its what that matters most to me. 

How has your work been? 


  1. Hi SI,

    I love your thoughts on this. I really empathise with that student who did well with the subject you taught but did badly in others. I had a few such cases and came away with the idea that I had to help them in others. And I did. Whenever I felt that the student is ready to cruise along with my subject, i'll jump to another one that he/she isn't doing well. It's easier for me to continue instead of switching to another one, but it's still impt to do it.

    I don't have any kpi but I know I must have done the right thing when parents texted me a simple appreciation message. Makes my day too :)

    Hey, let me make your day too: I think you're a fantastic teacher. Continue to do your great work and always look back at these post whenever you're feeling down. These are the gatorade and 100pluses that help us to boost our energy whenever we feel down :)

    1. Hi LP,

      Thank you for your cheerleading. I think I can be harsher on myself than others.

      This is a post to vent, thank for for listening to my cow bei cow bu ...

      Thank you for your kind words, it's very comforting to know that they are many teachers like me, and many even more giving

  2. I think you are more human than a resources. Than a teacher, than a worker than a HOD.

    I am so sick this time, admitted 3 times hospital. During my stay at hospital, I knew who concern me, who care for me.

    Who just colleagues.

    1. Hi yeh,

      I always treat colleagues as colleagues. I appreciate a few who became friends

      I dun expect kindness and concerns from
      Most of them ... but when given ... I will be very touched

    2. I like to read your blog because your blog not only talk about investments and money.

    3. Hi yeh,

      Very soon, I will be writing nore of the bo Liao stuff and fiancé stuff. If I get to do my nuclear option, maybe I will stop writing about investment for a long time

  3. :)

    You're the man!

    I'll be worried if you have lots to say about everything EXCEPT people ;)

    People first,

    then business.

    then KPs.

    1. SMOL,

      I remember reading this part of your "people first" concept. I have the same concept towards work.

      My boss challenged me to rethink my "mental model", and hinted that I have a closed "mindset"

      I think I know myself better, the difference between a closed mindset and core values. I am also aware I am the misfit, even in the civil service world.

      Another boss, who is more nurturing, ask me about my future plans.

      I told her, to take what I say offline. She said ok. I told her my son is young, I will work hard to do my job, to keep the pay, but I have no passion for what I am doing, when I am ready, I will step down.

      She is quite shocked and keep telling me I am young. My big boss told me my learning curve is a bit slow...

      I think so too. I told her I cannot be everywhere before building my core team. I think I have a capacity problem lol

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