Previously, on The Life and Chronicles of Laremy Lee…
I’ve been pretty busy the last fortnight with various deadlines and the like.
It’s a happy problem; work means income, though that doesn’t usually arrive until much later.
But my schedule this week’s a bit clearer, arranged on purpose because I’ve returned to SAJC this week to relief teach for another three weeks. I started on the Monday that just passed (22 Jul) and I’ll be here until Mon, 12 Aug.
Concurrently, I’ve been running a poetry workshop for some students in the Victoria Junior College Integrated Programme.
It’s been pretty cool to be back at my alma mater, meeting old faces and reliving the days of my youth.
It also makes me remember how, when was I was younger, I always wanted to be older. Now that I’m older, I miss being young.
I guess the grass is always greener on the other side.
So I’ll be returning to SAJC to relief teach for another four weeks, starting this Fri, 22 Feb until Thu, 28 Mar.
If this were a movie, it’d be called Lord of Relief Teaching: Return of the Piglet King.
Funny, right? No? Get out of my class.
(Definition of ORD LOH, in case you need it.)
Yesterday was the last day of my four-week long Project Work relief teaching stint back at St Andrew’s Junior College.
(I forgot to announce this, among other things I was remiss in announcing; I vaguely remember there was a flurry of activity at some point in late Sep/early Oct – and then I had to go back to school.
So there were many people who were quite surprised at my sudden reappearance – sorry about that.
Also, my stint was initially supposed to be from Tue, 9 Oct to Fri, 19 Oct in order to replace a couple of male teachers who had to return to their respective camps to serve the nation.
However, the Head of Department asked me toward the end of my initial stint if I were able to extend my stint up to Fri, 2 Nov in order to augment the teaching/provision of feedback.
So there were, again, many other people who were quite surprised to see me around for so long – sorry about that once more, but you won’t see me again come Monday!
Leaving and returning for a while has helped me realise a couple of things:
- I’m a good teacher.
Sorry if this sounds crass, but I need to do this. Let me explain.
I never thought I was a good teacher for most of my (relatively short) career.
I felt I was way out of my league much of the time because I felt I didn’t have adequate content knowledge or pedagogical skills.
And because I beat myself up a lot – though I’m learning not to do that now – I had a very poor sense of self-worth over the last few years, which reinforced my own impression of myself as a bad teacher.
But returning to the classroom this time felt different: I really felt good when I was in the classroom because I knew the relevant advice to give and how to provide it well.
And because I could see marked improvements in the students almost immediately most of the time, it felt like I was genuinely making a difference to their lives.
So this time, I’m proud to announce, with no shame whatsoever (and that’s not because I have no sense of shame): I’m awesome, and I’m happy to be awesome.
- I love teaching.
There is nothing more exciting than being part of an ‘aha moment’, especially when it’s an aha moment that will be one of the defining features of a human being’s life.
- But I don’t think I can teach in the Singapore education system in a sustained manner at this stage of my life.
It may or may not be the system – I don’t know and that’s not the point.
The point is: education, to use a cliched phrase – which is in itself a cliched phrase (haha) – is a noble profession; you must always give more of your time, your energy and your self than you are willing and able to.
But for someone who is too young to be so noble, and too noble to be giving so much of himself away at the expense of losing himself entirely, it’s best that I take a break now – while I still can.
So here’s to flexible schedules, creating, being creative and being my own boss again for the next six months.
But let’s play some DotA first.