Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Random thoughts: 2018 work review- A midlife crisis

2018 is a difficult year for me. I will just talk about work in this post.

This is the 4th year in my appointment. It is a difficult year as I have to manage many staff having issues at work. While I have genuinely tried to help all, I think only 2 turn out well.

This is the worst year in terms of results, I think most of my staff have put in their best. To be honest, I do think with such bad records and having so many years into the job, I really need to take a hard look at my approach and admits something is wrong.

I am not quite sure what is wrong, but while I have tried to change approach, the change in approach is in direct conflict with my beliefs. It's fine if readers think I am a sore loser or I am eating sour grapes, but I decided to step aside for someone with a different approach. I am really looking forward to 1 year transistion period where I will slowly hand over my work. I told my boss about my intentions and she supported my choice. The only spanner is she is leaving soon, but she told me she will let the new boss know.

Frankly speaking, this year high is when I think I gain the trust of a staff who had wanted to leave and when unable to, is feeling very sour.

The low point is, for all my efforts to reach out to my people, which is very exhausting, I was told and hinted that I indulge my officers and I have built a culture that is not productive. I really felt insulted when I heard this, but I realise I not too sure if I know of alternative way. That is also an important reason that I think I should step aside.

This year, I really give all my best to my pupils in order for them to do well in PSLE. This year is the first time I think I balance hoping they do well so I do well in my KPI and also genuinely hope they progress well in exam. For my part, my pupils did better than I expected. While it might not be exceed expectations, I think it is very good. For all the pupils that would in normal circumstances be streamed to take Foundation level of the subject, i manage to turn around most. In fact, many manage a B, more than a pass.

The nights listening to the oral, marking their assignments seem worth it. But, in my boss eyes, I done all these at the expense of my staff and department needs.

I really agree with her assessment, and can only come to the conclusion that I have a capacity problem. I cannot help my pupils and my teachers at the same time. When given a choice, I choose pupils, and my class pupils.

It's quite embrassing, but I am quite happy that my class pupils do well so much that the the level do not do well (the other spectrum of A, my job is to help the weakest pupils pass) , it did not bother me as much. As a friend jest, I need to have 大爱,I am responsible for more than just my pupils. Indeed, my job scope require me to monitor the whole school pupils performance in my subject area. This is another marker that I am a misfit in my job.

In all honesty, I would rather go out at a high, and not because of realisation that I do a bad job. But I guess no point killing my passion for teaching for doing something that I don't like. I know stepping aside with have adverse effect on my career progression. I am glad my wife supported my decision. I am mindful that after I step aside, it might be a slippery slope down, but I will take what come a step at a time. Right now, I will just focus on doing the job as best as I could for another year before I move on with or without my superiors blessing. I am 40 next year. Mid life crisis start early for me.


  1. Sillyinvestor,

    I am glad you've made a decision.

    Good, bad, no one cares; except you and your love ones.

    Will it turn out well?

    Who knows?

    Only the future you will know.

    But that's the future.

    What matters is how you are feelng now.

    道兄, 祝福。

    1. Thanks, its time to make plans like what u say... Hahahaha

      See how it goes ba. Who knows what the future holds,will continue to live present as much as possible

  2. 加油哦!照顾好自己的健康和心灵,然后照顾好学生们 :)

    1. LIS

  3. Hi Sillyinvestor,

    It takes courage to do what you are going to do. All the best.

    I have worked in both private and public sector before. When I was in the public sector, many complain about their work but all continued to stay on to win long-service awards. So, when I hear about a public servant quitting to perhaps pursue his other dreams, he wins my respect. No guarantee it will turn out well but if you have the means to take some risks, why not? There is no right or wrong when it comes to this kind of decision because nobody knows the outcome. If you can convince your wife of this move with your reasons, it probably means the reasons are sound.

    You've got a good wife. Not many women will be supportive of the husband when he makes such a move, particularly when he is leaving behind a successful career in the civil service which provides a relatively golden and iron rice bowl compared to private sector. This is based on my personal experience working in both private and public sector.

    Take care and best of luck.

    1. Hi hyom,

      No la, think u are mistaken. I stepping down as Department head, not quitting my job. I really like teaching.

      But if need to, might have to go private if after stepping aside, to do a role that has less admin, things still do not turn out well.

      Ya. I had a great wife. She say no point being so unhappy so frequently

    2. Hi Sillyinvestor,

      Good to hear that. As a parent, I will prefer my children to be taught by teachers who truly care about their students and not those who are too career-oriented and overly focused on KPIs. This is the impression I got from one of the teachers I met during meet-the-parents session.

      As an adult, I remember those teachers whom I could sense truly cared about me as a person. These caring teachers do not treat teaching as a job simply to hit KPIs, get promotion, earn money and bonus.

      Since you are lucky enough to love the job nature, I hope you do stay on in MOE. Students benefit, you benefit. Parent also benefit.

    3. Hyom,

      Thanks for the kind words. I would say 95percent of the time, with 95% of parents, my conversation wity be about their learning and results. Hahaha

      Wity kids more interesting

  4. So you are a teacher with MOE ? Not an easy environment from my brief stint experience. I hated it in fact.

    1. Its getting tougher.

      Teaching is relatively the straightforward part. Give your best, review and check understanding.

      The other part is beyond me. Others are doing a great job thou

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