Yes, I only made it to the position of school head at the age of 50.
When I first joined the teaching profession at the age of 22, I did not, for the life of me, dream that I would be heading a school one day.
I did exactly what most teachers do, teach and educate my pupils, and at the same time, guide my own kids at home. It was a mammoth task indeed, balancing career and family.
Teaching those days was a breeze. We set our own tests and did our own evaluation of the pupils' performance. We also had ample time for family and friends then, as there wasn't much stress because the class teacher was in control of his or her own class, despite other related duties at school.
It's an altogether different picture now.
Teachers not only have to teach but are loaded with all kinds of paperwork and endless data filing. Nowadays, you would have to be a superman to survive the teaching profession.
Besides teaching and marking exercise books, there are extracurricular activities, meetings, professional courses and in-house training and programmes to attend. On top of that, you need to be computer savvy, too.
In short, unless you have the passion for teaching and children, it's wiser to look for greener pastures as you may end up depressed at the end of the day.
I am not discouraging those who are interested to take up teaching. On the contrary, I would like to advise those who only took up teaching as the last resort, that it could turn out to be disastrous in the long run.
Think very carefully if you really wish to become a teacher as society expects a lot from you.
We were teachers because there weren't many options then. But today, there are so many other options.
Nevertheless, I have never regretted being an educator.
LIM BEE HOON, Batu Pahat, Johor firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Teaching: It's not easy being an educator 2010/12/12