Monday, November 25, 2019

Random thoughts: 2019, a year of change and pain

I have wanted to blog about this.

2019 is a year of major changes. This is the year I teach a big class of mix ability. I have always deployed myself to teach the weakest of all pupils, but my previous principal insisted that I change.
The challenges I faced teaching the class is small compared to the immense satisfaction I had as I see them grow and progress.

I am glad all of them pass with flying colors in PSLE. I had hope to produce at least 1 A*, and would have create history if I succeeded. Looking back, having pupils in my class fighting for an A* and believing that they could is already an achievement, because most came to me, just passing the subject. I remember the look in their face, when I told them they have nothing to lose, and everything to gain, if they fight for A*. No one will expect it from them, no one even talks about it with them. It is a high point in my teaching, when those who are already achieving A did not rest on their laurels and continue to push themselves.

This is also the year, I lost my dad. It was a painful year for him, as his health deteriorated. Care-giving could be tiring and frustrating at times. It is also a challenge trying to juggle work with care-giving. I remembered asking pupils to come back for extra lessons during the June holidays and my dad's conditions took a turn for a worse. I didn't cancel those lessons, and I am only 1 day into the week lesson when my dad passed away in the evening.

Strangely, the feeling of lost struck with me for a while, but the grief went away quite quickly.

I was getting ready to return to school when I suddenly had the symptoms of a heart attack. I went to A and E and was admitted to hospital for 3 days. Luckily, its a false alarm and the doctor said the cause could be due to the nerves at the neck being strained.

My health in 2019 was really bad. I had difficulties breathing and need to be put on inhaler. My annual health check also show red flags regarding the liver.

However, I was generally still grateful and happy for the year, as I prepare the biggest change in my worklife. I decided to step down as a HOD and prepare to be a senior teacher. The building up of the portfolio is quite painful as I hate report writing. The OPEN Class experience is also a painful one.

But as I wind down the year, I realize I am happier, looking forward to 2020.

However, perhaps because I grown so close to some of my pupils (I would think the feelings might not be mutual), I actually missed them, and I am quite surprise and sad that some did not come over to talk to me or say good bye during the day of results release.



  1. It's just a job. Learn to let go else you gonna get burned out.

  2. HI Mike,

    Perhaps stepping down in a leadership role (HOD) will led to less chronic stress and enable you to pay more attention to your overall well being (Physical and Mental).

    Take care and wishing you a good year ahead.

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