This is a story I want to share because I think there are hundreds if not thousands of teachers out there who are working very hard but getting little or no recognition for their work. My disappointment is nothing compared to theirs. I'm lucky to at least have an audience & a platform for sharing. It's good that I don't get everything because it keeps me humble & fighting for what is right.
This blog post is dedicated to the teachers out there who are slaving it out for their students & loving it while at the same time alienated from the system which is supposed to reward them. They are fabulous enough to flip their hair aside haughtily at such ignorance & remember what is important to them.
As you know from a previous blog post, I applied for GC. The purpose of this award was to recognise truly exemplary teachers. However, not all who are awarded are exemplary. I wanted to change this disappointing fact so I made my first attempt this year. If I was successful, I wanted to teach other exemplary teachers how to do it for themselves because I want the best people to be GCs. However, I don't think that this is something I'll be able to do in the short-term because, apparently, saya guru tak cemerlang.
The story began in July when my friends at other schools were contacted by Nazirs & informed that they were getting observed. I waited & waited but I never got the phone call. I figured that the officer might have had a tough time trying to contact me since I was in the jungle & reception is so scarce here. After school on Friday, I made my way to town to make a phone call to Nazir at JPN & ask for the contact information of the officer who was supposed to observe me. It's hilarious to look back at how confident I was of getting observed for the GC award.
I called JPN & found out that my name wasn't even on the list of those who were being observed. I was flabbergasted. The lady on the other end was very kind & apologetic. I really appreciate that. I asked if there was a second round of vetting but she said that there is only one round of vetting each year. She said that Putrajaya decides who should be observed & maybe I didn't have what they were looking for. She encouraged me to try again next year.
At the end of the phone conversation, I was in shock. I didn't have what the ministry was looking for? I wondered if I was doing the right thing in my career. I wondered if I wasted my 5+ years in the jungle. I wondered if the system wanted people like me. I really didn't know. I felt really deeply disturbed. Especially since I turned down a high-paying education consultancy job only the week before. I was deeply disappointed. The private sector desired by skills but the ministry did not even consider me worthy of being observed for an obscure award.
I really didn't mind not being awarded because there are plenty of other teachers who are better than me. I think that I contributed quite a bit & could have at least earned the honour of being observed. I found it hard to swallow after all the hard work I've put in throughout the years & the hardships I've endured. I also went through a lot preparing file after file for the observation which never materialised.
Some quick details
Here is my application for your reference. You might want to apply for GC next year. I'm not sure if I want to do it again. You can judge for yourself if I am someone worthy of at least being observed.
To all the good teachers out there, don't let what I've written here discourage you from applying for your GC. Learn from my experience & download my failed application for your reference. Perhaps you should do the exact opposite of what I have done.
Those of you who are GCs or SISC+s & reading this, you better reflect on my application lest someone does it for you & compares you to a non-GC non-SISC+ teacher shining in the middle of the jungle. You better not disgrace the position.
Whatever disappointments come my way, know that it will take a lot more to bring me down. I've been through a lot worse in the jungle, believe me. I am facing the world as a man. My childish ways are behind me. It does not matter if the government does not recognise me, there are plenty out there who have been blessed by my work. The biggest award I can ever receive is if a student of mine rises up to be an exemplary leader in his community. That is what I have been aiming for & will continue to do so until the end of my career.
If you're looking for a GC application guide, check out the one by Cikgu Hailmi.