Of course, teachers should work after office hours


  • Some time back, ST reported about some 5,000 teachers leaving the force over the last 5 years and everybody had something to say.
  • The first thought was, “MOE should control teachers’ working hours” where the writer tried to explain that the long working hours could probably be a reason why teachers quit cause they feel “burnt out.”
  • From that, Ms Lee Wei Yin voiced her two cents via the ST forum that “Working after school hours part of ‘service'” and well, teachers are here to serve “the students who are minors, and the parents.”
  • Singapore’s blog father (who is the son of a former teacher of forty years, who was also a full-time mother and full-time wife) decided to reply her letter via his blog.


In a very quick summary,


Sorry, was that too brief a summary?

Basically, he, like everybody else who read the letter, was appalled by Ms Low’s “astounding” sense of entitlement.

To simply quote him, “Hello, teachers are also people with full-time jobs” and we can’t – and shouldn’t- expect schools and teachers to bend over backwards.

WHAT D0 i think?

I may have a tiny blog myself but I sure am no blog father. I might be a father but my child is too young for school. That aside, do I agree with mrbrown?

That at the end of the day, teachers are also people with full-time jobs and that as parents, we do not automatically get extra entitlement from society just because we now have a child?

BUT my real question is this,

how many people out there with full-time jobs don’t have to work beyond office hours?

We may have moved away from “work-life balance” to “work-life integration” but let’s call a spade a spade.

No matter what we term it, in today’s time and age, most of us work beyond office hours. Reading your emails first thing in the morning? Checked. Replying emails right before going to bed? Checked too. Sending an “urgent email” in between mojitos during your holiday?  Checked, checked and checked.

Do you quantify these hours as overtime work?

That being said, do you think entrepreneurs like Jack Ma are where they are because they only work from 9am to 5pm?

Do you think our Ministers and the POTUS have the luxury of sleeping in on weekends and calling in sick when they suffer from a hangover? That is, if they can ever have the time to get a hangover.

Did Steve Jobs stop working when he was sick?

Some might argue and said that these people chose these hours but frankly, I see it as commitment to their jobs and careers. Of course I’m not saying that everyone (teachers or not) needs to go above and beyond their office hours in the name of servitude but fact is, as long as one is committed to their job, you can’t really measure what constitutes strictly as office hours or not.

Or can you?

Share your thoughts!

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