Working with schools as educators is highly rewarding and highly taxing. Especially with schools that have high expectations, like ours does. We hold our teachers and our students to high standards of work and ethics and very often push them out of their comfort zone. Doing so, helps us try out new methods of teaching learning and keeps us agile but it is not devoid of unrest in the teachers.
While we do what we do because we have the best interest of the child in mind, we were extremely elated when one of our own ex-faculty members chose to share this with us. (Names have been changed for the sake of privacy.)
My experience as a teacher at GGIS..
In GGIS- work looked too stressful, there were too many things to do with the little amount of resources / help available. Making daily, weekly, yearly plans, writing self-evaluation, planning POI’s, staying in touch with parents on daily basis, writing elaborated reports 2/3 times a year, having PTM’s and on and on and on…. It was like a roller coaster ride. I remember having nightmares of not being able to make the lesson plans well in advance. The traffic from my house to the school made things look even worse.
Right now, I work in an (XYZ) international school in Europe. It has more than 3000 students coming from various nationalities. It is a renowned school. There are 9 different language sections (English, French, German, Polish, Spanish, Slovak, Finnish, Portuguese and Dutch). I teach English as a second language to non-English students. In about four hours, I teach about 120 students from P1 to P5 (about 6 to 11 year olds).
Here I am expected to have only one plan for the whole year (no one checks it though). There is an abundance of resources but no creativity. The Head of the school visits the class only once a year for 30 minutes and checks if things are going fine. Daily/ weekly planning is a personal choice- most teachers don’t do it. No one really sees what the teacher does in the class unless there’s some issue. Once they hire you, they expect you to be responsible enough that they don’t need to micromanage you. We have textbooks to follow so you don’t really need to plan anything.
Initially, all this felt like heaven but now I have realized that it’s so monotonous. There is no creativity, no new learning(for me). Knowing that you are not “expected” to run that extra mile to make every lesson an experience in its own, somewhere deep within, I feel I am not giving the best that I can.
When I was in GGIS every day there was a new challenge and every day there were some achievements. It felt great when things went as planned and it made me work harder if things didn’t work out as expected.
After all, I have realized that working with a leader who expects more and more just brings the best out of you( and the recyclable material around you). Yes its difficult but it’s all worth it.
Thanks, for letting me be part of GGIS.
Amazing isn’t it? We read this letter to our teachers at the beginning of this academic year and it helped the teachers to really understand and value the experiences they have at GGIS. Now when a new assignment is presented or a bizarre looking task is taken up, the teacher’s anxiety is replaced with the belief that this will only make me a better teacher. And what more could we ask for from our teachers? This reminds us of a great quote by Mohammed Ali I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’
So what makes you a champion? Please do share your experiences that made you stronger.
If you wish to be a part of roller coaster ride at GGIS, do visit our Join Us page.