Issue of September 2, 2018
     
NEWS
Benguet
Mt. Province
 
OPINION
 

2018
Panagbenga Flower Festival
 
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Drop out teachers

 

The increase in the number of teachers taking their lives or living the public school system and making the world know how dangerous it is to be part of the public basic education system seems to be the talk of the town recently.

This reminded me of the time when my classmates in my PhD subject stared at me with disbelief when I said I shifted from a non-teaching to teaching career.

The truth is: I woke up one morning and felt the mid-life crisis, and pitying myself for the state of my career. I found it hard to be efficient and effective if my state of mind keeps saying that I’m ready to barf at the very sight of financial paper works on my desk. To my classmates, my decision to shift is a suicidal attempt. According to them, my life as a non-teaching employee is heaven-sent, and by choosing to be a teacher, I was on the highway to hell.

The shift in my career was filled with birth pains and adjustments. At times, I question myself if it was worth it and if I was doing the right thing. But at the end of the day, when students came with their innocent smiles and hopes for second chances, it was a realization of a vocation and passion waiting to be unearthed. Although there were a lot of challenges with the diversity of learners, including their parents, I must say that I have not made a mistake in shifting careers.

According to those who “dropped out” from the public system, voluminous paperwork added to their occupational stress.

I must admit, these reasons have been a part of my life as a teacher. There are times when I would still question myself, but everything turns out right every time my previous students would request that I be their teacher again, or that I would follow them through to the next grade level.

Abraham Maslow in his discussion of human needs presented in a hierarchical nature shows that a person has to achieve physiological needs primarily followed by safety needs, social needs, ego needs, and eventually self-actualization needs. At this point, it is evident that being a teacher in the public sector may have hampered the achievement of these needs based on the statements of those who chose to leave the system. Because basically being a public teacher with all those work-related stress have prevented them from having their on-time meals, bathroom necessities, rest/sleep, interpersonal relationships, security and safety from malicious stakeholders, belongingness, self-esteem, self-confidence, respect and status.

These very reasons, I believe, should not be taken lightly and incidents of teachers leaving the system must be addressed. If for them, the workplace have become their source of deprivation of life itself, by all means, leave the system and change career, but not take their own lives.

 

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