Some of my friends questioned the rationale behind the long holiday given to teachers. Seriously? I told myself. Well, I’m not saying that my job is harder than others or more important than others. It’s just that, there’s simply NOTHING to do when the students are not around. Our job scope is to educate the children. What and who to educate when the school is empty?
My point is, our work schedule depends so much on the nature of our job. Take for example, the nurses and police petty officers have to work on shift and get two days off weekly, the offshore workers get their 2 weeks break after a month’s work, some get to travel around the world on government expenses and etc.
And of course, generally, people need a break. Other government officers are given 30 or more days of annual leaves which they can take or apply anytime but for teachers, we do not have the privilege to apply for leaves when the school session starts unless we are sick. Therefore, there isn’t a need to question why teachers are given a long holiday at year end.
Remember, we all have work stress; problems and difficulties at work. On our part as teachers, we need a long break because:
1. When the school starts, we work almost 24/7. From early morning to evening and from Monday to Sunday. We spend our time mostly for the benefits of other people’s children.
2. We are not only playing our role as teachers but other roles too such as, being parents to school children, sports coaches, counselors, advisors, and etc. Those roles really drain our energy and time.
3. Even during the school break, we have to invigilate SPM until December, attend end year courses, finalizing students’ PBS results and the primary school teachers have to take up the job as “Security Guards” taking care of the schools.
4. We are kept in a closed school compound and have to deal with thousands of kids with different attitudes, cultures, thinking and beliefs for 8-9 hours a day. They increase our blood pressure, the mental and emotional stress especially, when confronting problematic children, who see school as a prison. If you ask the jail wardens, they also experience the same stress when dealing with the convicts.
So, we are not “free” OR our job is not as “easy” as you think. We are busy and tired as you are. So, let’s stop comparing our jobs and let’s stop questioning the long holiday. Just like the others, we do want to spend more time with our family.