Singapore—Ismail Tahir is one devoted husband. His detailed post about the difficulties of his wife’s daily life as an early childhood educator has gone viral, and in it, he debunks a popular (mis)conception that teachers of young children don’t do enough for their students.
He sees the complete opposite first hand, daily.
Mr Ismail’s wife has been a teacher for the past six years. He calls the thinking that some parents have concerning early childhood teachers not doing enough as “absolutely crazy!”
He begins many of his paragraphs with “I’m a husband to an early childhood educator…”
And to think that parents abuse childcare/kindergarten teachers, management thinking that these early childhood teachers…
His wife’s story
Mr Ismail’s wife started teaching in 2013. Back then she was “full of passion, full of drive, full of wanting to make a change.” Since husband and wife are both educators (he teaches at the Tertiary level) they always exchange work stories. He admits though, “I thought my job was tough, boy was I wrong!”
She thinks of her students all the time, even on date nights.
She spends for her classroom or students from her own money.
She’s thrilled whenever her students greet her out of school.
She comes home late (“nights”) often, because of the volume of work, or else her students are picked up late, sometimes to the detriment of their evening plans.
She barely has time for her midday meal and has only a little portion of it, to make sure the students have enough.
She is a class one multitasker, and he enumerates her duties: “A teacher, a cleaner, a poop and vomit cleaner, a classroom designer, a logistics/storemen, a curriculum expert, an outreach exec, a community leader in service learning, a grassroots member for MPs doing meet-the-people session, a parent informant, 24-hour nanny, a know-it-all, a PR Officer for parents, an admin executive, a crisis manager, a first aider.”
She does administrative and curriculum work even at home.
She continuously goes to external programmes for self-improvement.
She gets saddened by heavy rules, regulations, and restrictions by Management, and “unwanted comments from parents who are just plain unreasonable” from the parents of her students, who vent their anger on her.
She spends many Saturday attending meetings.
She is burdened by the sheer number of heavy bags she needs to bring daily. “Bags with files, portfolios, laptops for admin work, paper work, etc.”
Their house has become a messy “recycling centre” since his wife keeps collecting stuff for the students’ crafts that they work on.
Their storeroom is full of shock supplies, bought from his wife’s money, “because there’s always a lack of budget, and the claiming process is oh so lengthy.”
He has minimal interaction with his wife during work hours since teachers can’t have their phones with them. And yet, teachers manage to take photos of their students so parents can see their child’s developments in their portfolio
He writes, “There’s completely no work-life balance for our dear childhood educators, but yet, they are being told that they are still not doing good enough. There’s completely no awareness whatsoever the sacrifices these educators make for your children. They’re not paid so good mind you, but yet, they’re doing the work that realistically, is a work of 5 people.
So the next time if you want to drop off your kids at 7 am and pick your kids up very late from school, or your kids went home with the wrong shirt, or wrong water bottle, or have a small cut on their fingers, please think again before you go on your rampage and blaming the teachers for not doing good enough. Think of what the teacher had to go through for the day before you want to vent your anger at another teacher. Think of the sacrifices the teacher makes, just to give your children a better classroom experience, and good education.” (sic)
Mr Ismail’s post has gone viral, with so many commenters thanking the teachers for being so committed to their work.
Other teachers, especially, were so happy with the post, as they felt it really captured an early childhood educator’s experience.
Even some teachers who have changed careers or retired were moved to comment on Mr Ismail’s post, telling their story