Friday, February 26, 2010

Pondering Choices : Form Six Academic Teacher Post

Sigh, it's that time again.... of choices, dilemmas, adjustments and ANGST.

Yesterday was a deadline for the Form Six Academic Teacher Post applicants to verify their data with the Unit Naik Pangkat (Promotions Unit?) of the Sabah Edu Dept. As I have already moved to the District Education Office, I had to contact my previous school to do the verification. The teachers were whispering about a possible appointment briefing in March or April. Hmmm, wonder what that would mean for me.

A Senior Assistant friend of mine sat for an hour, unloading all her grief related to this promotional exercise. There were teachers who applied for posts in Phase One but didn't get any offer, while others who applied in Phase Two were given offers. So the aggrieved teachers were complaining to her, asking why how who what and whyyyyy...(imagine sad eyes and upset hearts). I think (my own personal opinion, okay??) that this may have happened because a number of teachers in Phase One turned down the offers and some options had too many applicants while others had too few.

Yet another friend emailed me, asking me for my opinion about the post. She told me that her school principal encouraged her to take up the DG48 Form Six Academic Teacher post that they were expecting to be offered to her.

This is the gist of what I shared with her :

One, in the Form 6 Acad Teacher job grade, the highest grade is DG52 at this point in time. For Master Teachers, the highest is JUSA. Those in admin can hope for higher grades. This isn't an issue of being greedy but logically, if you have a choice between a job grade with a ceiling of DG52 and another grade with a ceiling of JUSA, then it is better to go for the latter. There is a big difference between the two job grades. However, if you are offered the Form 6 post and turn it down in hope of a better offer, what will you do if that 'better offer' doesn't materialise? I asked a principal who I trust very much in matters such as this and she said that perhaps it would be better to have a bird in hand than two in the bush.

Two, the Form 6 Acad Teacher job grade is a new one. I worry that it may take years for the powers-that-be to plan and implement better opportunities for those in the job grade. Right now, my honest opinion is that it isn't the best choice available to teachers. I welcome other opinions contrary to this and would like to be convinced that the job grade IS a very good place to be. You see, I say this because I have looked at one particular situation in a school I shall not identify. The school has three DG48 posts and one DG52 post. The teacher occupying the DG52 post will be retiring in about three years' time. The three teachers in the DG48 posts are about the same level of seniority. Who among them will be promoted to that post? Perhaps the dept will 'import' a more senior teacher from another school. In the meantime, what happens to the three teachers in DG48? They either wait for the the 'more senior teacher' to retire O_O and battle it out among themselves for the post. Or they pray for a vacancy in a school elsewhere. There aren't that many schools with Form Six in Sabah.

Three, talking about choosing between admin and teaching, if one likes to teach, then it would be better to choose the academic posts (Form 6 or Master Teacher). I'd go for the Master Teacher post anytime. Yes, it's not an easy post to aspire to. But if you dare to hold such a post, then you better start polishing those teacher skills, right? Too many people want the pay but don't want the job. I get really irritated with such teachers. I sometimes feel like asking them what planet they come from. But if you like admin, then go for admin by all means. There are more admin posts than any other promotional post. Every school needs admin but not every school offers Form 6 classes.

So much to consider... but the bottom line is... if I am offered the Form Six Academic Teacher post with no other offer in sight, I will take it. That is such an easy decision to make because I love teaching. But my choice and my opinion isn't applicable to others. Every teacher in this position will just have to think it out for themselves.
The last time I blogged about this, I got a few brickbats. And some new friends. I consider that part of a learning experience. And I got more information about Form Six posts. So it wasn't a waste of time.

I wonder what I will get from this post...LOL... :) I would LOVE it if someone could see loopholes in what I have blogged. This is my possible future too.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Friend Requests From The Wild Blue Yonder

I should be happy....I get requests to add friends almost every day. But how can I be happy when these requests come from Mawar Putih, Duitbah Dragon, Shmily Love, Mary Mz, Hellstrom, Freddie Mercury, Shadowrunner Daus, Friday Starz and the list goes on and on.

I thought Freddie Mercury died a long time ago.

I've tried squinting at the pictures but they are usually taken at odd angles (the current craze is to make your eyes look super big and your chin almost embedded into your neck) or of various body parts (e.g. one eye, half a forehead or a foot). I've also got requests from babies (well, the pictures are of babies... and the names are cutesy ones like BubbleBee or AngelPuff). Although I didn't think the babies actually typed out their requests.

I usually don't bother with those who have 'killer' combinations of weird nicks and weirder pictures (a skull, an X, a burger, Spongebob etc). And of course, there are requests from people whose faces I don't know from Adam.

I DO have the odd 'Antz Yaya' and 'JefGilz' but their requests either came with a message that identified them or enough detail on their profiles for me to figure out who they were.

However now I have the princely number of 139 friends requests, which I don't ignore because I'm hoping that maybe next week, the requester will post his or her real name and maybe put up his or her real picture or maybe just maybe a light bulb will blink in my head and I will realise that I DO know this person and add him or her.

But till then, I'll just keep that list as it is. After all, why on earth would I add a person I don't know?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

It's A Bad Thing When....

... you have so much work to do that you forget mealtimes.
... you have so much data to compile that you compile more than you analyse. have so many emails to download that you forget which folder you put them in. eat drink breathe live your work till you can't even blog!