“WALK IN OUR SHOES”
This is in response to the article about Ben Te’o, the President of FASE requesting for higher pay for teachers and also our Director Dr. Salu Hunkin-Finau making the same request and the comments made under the article that is on samoanews online on Friday 02/22/2013.
Personally, being a teacher has been challenging, but very rewarding. We certainly have our days in this profession, but overall, it has been an enjoyable ride. As teachers, we do not ask for handouts just like anybody else from other professions. AND just like any other profession that has LOW PAY and HIGH STRESS, we only ask that people – especially those couch and armchair critics, RANKON as an example — see that we are much as human beings as anybody else. Yes, it is very easy to sit behind a keyboard and make certain critical observations about teachers without walking in our shoes on a daily basis throughout the year.
Please, I can assure you that we are not robots nor are we machines, but we still get the job done the best we can with the very limited resources and supplies that we have. We do not claim perfection in any sense of the word and we understand and realize that there are many problems that we face in education but we keep chugging forward.
We deal potentially with up to 30 students per class period everyday — even 40, from what I hear occurring in other schools — and that means 30 different personalities with 30 different attitudes that go up and down on a daily basis. On top of that, throughout the entire day we deal with up to 100 students, which translates into 100 different personalities with 100 different attitudes. One student may act up one day, or another student on a different day. Even two students at times, yet, we keep our cool the best we can. As a teacher, we learn the hard way how to maneuver around, trying our best not to lose it. Plus, many times, whatever happens at home or in the personal lives of students that may make them emotionally unstable, well, we teachers are often on the receiving end of such outbreaks when they occur.
I am well aware of stories in the newspaper about certain teachers, but it does not mean that the whole bunch of teachers that do not show up in the newspaper are bad apples.
I personally do not mind criticism, but I only ask that people keep in mind that teachers are humans. I invite you all to come and speak with any teacher and see that we all have arms, legs, eyes, nose, hair, ears, and so forth. We especially have the same type of feelings and emotions just like anyone else. Just as what one of the comments that was made under the article, we have bills to pay, family members to take care of, fa’alavelaves, and many other things that occur in real life that we face and is at the top of our minds just like anyone else.
See, we are humans.
Again, much thanks to Ben Te’o and our current director Dr. Salu Hunkin-Finau and Samoa News for helping with our cause.
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