‘My mental health is worse than ever’ – teachers talk about burning, MOE ‘gaps’ need to be fixed

Anne *, a teacher at a higher education institution, admits that the line between work and vacation is blurring. There is a “hope” for teachers who respond “immediately” because students are more anxious, she wrote in an Instagram post.

For Melissa, she learned to take matters into her own hands. To ask questions ((when they send me a text)… or at midnight … they will get it from me the next day. ”

Some educators find that students are more “flexible” and “overcrowded” with safer administrative measures at school, such as “physically blocking joint curriculum activities and group activities in physical education classes”.

Many of the things that make school fun or exciting have been eliminated. So all of a sudden, the students have nothing to do but study; Said Sally, a high school teacher.

They are too short, and they have no place to spend part of their energy… it is very difficult to motivate them, so it flows into (our teaching).

Elementary School Lisa This is often worse in large classrooms, which reduces the ability of teachers to see each child. You really have to reduce the number of their children so that we can take care of them … their minds, ”she said.

Low-Grade High School Teacher Claire * makes it easier to “build student relationships” and take care of students’ needs.

Her high school class has fewer than 20 students as a result of the fall compared to the previous “regular 40 students per class”.

“In a small room, when you look like you are a dictator, everyone is silent and they listen to me,” she said. Your student can now know and understand why students have “bad behavior”.

Mandy * Teachers wish to receive psychological first aid training while at the National Institute of Education (NIE) before entering the service.

She felt that there was “insufficient” training on how to control one’s emotions when dealing with students, such as “emotional labor” – a view echoed by many peers.

A high school humanities teacher who started teaching last year met a “very distant, lonely” and self-deprecating student during a home-based study. It was one of six injuries she suffered last year.

She struggled to find the right words for the students. I didn’t know how to push (all the right buttons) and how much they pushed to find out what was bothering them or to solve it.

According to Chu-Lim, there are courses in self-management and mental health development at NIE, such as the Meranti project, which “helps teachers think about ways to develop resilience.” These are the main modules that everyone should take.

“NIE conducts self-care workshops for all of our student teachers before they become qualified teachers,” he said.

Mandy said the Meranti project was a two-day weekend course in her first year at NIE, where her facilitator spoke before she tried to help students (your own trauma and the need to break free of mental health).

But she could not remember learning “any real strategies” she could apply to herself or her student.

From stress level to performance, performance

The performance appraisal and grading system also came to the fore in messages to CNA Insider about what affected teachers’ mental health. One teacher created “a culture of fear (and) self-doubt.”

Teachers’ performance is determined by the improved performance management system, which in turn affects their pay and professional development.

Last year, the MOE ranked C / C and C 60 percent of teachers in the “Broad Medium” answer, and a third could score A and B.

In this year’s STU survey of 1,265 teachers, more than half of the respondents disagreed that teachers “understood the rating process,” and 80 percent did not agree that the rating was in place. Transparency.

For Timothy, * who was in high school for four years, he was worried that he would not be able to do what he wanted to do.

“I will continue to work harder to fill that gap, and after that I will continue to work harder (albeit a little) … I am not working (better) at another school,” he said.

“You are getting B, I’m getting a C-Plus. But they always tell me that I am doing more than they do, and that they are doing more than they do. So how is this fair? ”

“The results of the teachers should not be underestimated,” said Chu-Lim. If necessary, work evaluation sessions should occur “at least twice a year” for teachers to improve after the initial evaluation.

But after hearing various experiences from teachers, she said, “There are really gaps when it comes to the right implementation.” “Now that we know there are gaps, we can make sure we close them,” she said.

That means MOE (required to work with reporting officers). For example, in their training there is a workshop called “Managing Difficult Discussions”, how to say what they say.

“I can give you a step at the end of the day. You may not be happy, but you can accept it,” said Chu-Lim.

Many teachers, such as Paul, * have hope that “they will do more than that.”

“People are being pressured to develop projects and events that are less important to learning and learning,” says a high school teacher.

“This indicates a big system issue – a lot of what we do, a lot of things we do like planning a sports day … should be given to presenters or special officers who want to do this work.

Many educators say that comparing multiple roles is “too much.”

In order to carry out other joint curriculum activities and committee roles, Lisa is sometimes too busy so she has to stop or delay her signaling and instructional arrangements.

“Because I haven’t finished marking, everything will be very messy (in the classroom), so I can’t give my kids feedback right away, and I’m worried about changing the kids briefly,” she said.

Every time he comes to the stage, I really hate him, and (school leaders) start saying, OK, look, you didn’t do this… and you get this level.

“It makes you feel like your price is tied (class) and you are not doing enough.

The struggle to ask and get help

Although the stress and the struggle are many, sometimes the basic premise is that teachers have asked for help, or are able to ask.

“Many people go to school because they are pastoralists,” said Chong Paor, a consultant and former teacher at the Shan You Advice Center. “There is a caring side for them, and I find it amazing, especially a burning group of teachers.

There is no limit to what you (teachers) can do in this regard.

In Susan’s staff, frustration is often felt in the back burner. The high school teacher said: “The moment someone says, ‘Let’s do it for the kids,’ we go. We speak for ourselves, stop complaining, renew this, plan that, seek resources.

According to Paul, the “superior social attitude” of self-sacrificing teachers is unacceptable.

“When we learn that governance and organizational issues distract us from educating children, we are happy to think, ‘We don’t have love’ and ‘we have to do it for the children,'” he said. “It destroys the most natural… frustration.

But “doing it for kids” is becoming a difficult stimulus as it becomes a key issue, according to CNA Insider’s Instagram responses.

One child pushes us to go every day, but the endless amount of work can save lives. ” “They want to be teachers and to love and teach children. But you are very tired. ”

Another commentator, who spoke on behalf of the students, said, “Teachers feel that they have been exploited.” Many good-hearted individuals who care deeply about our students leave the service after the fire … What does this say about the longevity of the profession?

Ms. Chu-Lim said that teachers feel “very good” about their mission because it means “their minds are on children.”

When that motivation dries up, when asked about guilty teachers, he said, “If we don’t have teachers first, we can’t get students first.

There are always coping strategies to help you, and you need to practice some of them.

Although teachers do not want to go it alone, many may find it difficult to find alternatives based on their school leadership and culture.

For example, Timothy, a former schoolteacher, felt that the struggle was not right.

Asked to see the Reporter, he said, “He should not tell people how busy you are or how well you are doing in the office,” Timothy said.

This was the first experience that made me realize that I could not say I was struggling or that I had too many things. I could not tell people or ask for help. ”

He taught English and geography, co-ordinated the second curriculum and two committees.

Things turned “180 degrees” with only a third reporter, who confirmed that there was a “safe place” to participate in the struggle. “He was very supportive. He really listened to me and spoke to me. ”

“I understand where he is coming from, this is what you have to do. Finally, what can I do for you? ‘ And he did something. ”

Ms. Chu-Lim said it was “very important” for school leaders to set the right tone. “That is when we need to be open-minded, that we can improve our psychological well-being,” he said.

Teachers have “many internal channels” when reporters are not happy.

“Because the principal is more than a reporter’s officer, they can share their experience with the leaders of their schools. They (he) can share it with the superintendent. You can also share it with the MOE, because HR has a platform for teachers to share.

Is there mental health support?

Some of the teachers interviewed by CNN Insider knew that the school counselor could see teachers, but the counselors were busy managing student loads.

Few teachers in the Singapore Teachers’ Association are aware of the services provided to them, such as counseling.

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