Effortless English Archives

Automatic English For The People

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Just Leave

by AJ

I recently reviewed some of my old archives-- especially the ones from Thammasat University. Reading through those was quite instructive. Its quite clear that I felt stifled there; and that big, rigid, authority-driven bureaucracies are not for me. Yet, at the time, I didn't realize how bad it was.

The problem, I think, was that the people I worked with were all really nice. The staff was super nice, the other teachers were super nice, and the students were super nice. I genuinely liked them and this caused me to constantly minimize the deeper structural problems with the job.

Its amazing the lies we can tell to ourselves when we aren't yet ready to face the truth. The truth is that I despise hierarchical, authority & control education structures. The truth is, I hate bureaucracies and the mentality that keeps them functioning. The truth is, teaching is more than just "a job" for me.

Looking back, its quite obvious that I had no business working at Thammasat-- however nice the individuals were. Comparing my situation now to what I was going through then-- its like comparing apples and oranges. I'm so much happier now. My job isn't perfect now; but I'm free to do the kinds of things I love to do, believe in doing, and am good at. I'm a much better teacher as a result-- and therefore my students benefit a lot more.

The lesson this taught me is to try to be more brutally honest about where I am and what I'm doing. When your income and comfort are on the line, its easy to make excuses and lie to yourself. But this never serves you in the end. Sticking with a teaching position that isnt right for you is a really bad idea-- for it leads to either burnout, crisis, or failure (or all three).

Which is why, when I hear teachers complaining frequently about their school, or the education system they are "stuck" in.. I always have just one suggestion: LEAVE.

As fast as possible.


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