Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Life as An Adjunct Teacher

It was reported this week in Straits Times that more and more retired teachers rejoined the service as either Flexi-Adjunct (FAJT) or Contract Adjunct (CAJT) teachers. I am very thankful that after one year of being a FAJT, I was offered to continue as a CAJT in the school next year. As a retiree who still wishes to be occupied, in mind, soul and body, and being a teacher for all my life, it was a big lift  for my spirit when I was told about it. Somehow, not being a normal full time teacher can sap one's spirit and lower one self esteem if you allow them to manifest.

The Reason
Why did I want to continue in the present school? I believed that a positive school culture towards everyone is the main reason. I decided to retire 'immaturely' as a key personnel (KP) could be due to my previous school's leaders 'vibes'. Being appreciated, whoever you are,  is also one of the reason. Also, the being 'just a teacher' feeling is one lost forgotten feeling since the days I left Institute of Education as a virgin teacher. You just prepare your lesson and facilitate learning!!

The former is like a relief teacher (RT). Three months (one term) contract renewed termly. Salary based on hourly rate ($38 per hour for a graduate teacher) subjected to a maximum number of hours per contract. No other benefits are given. If you are sick, too bad, you are not paid for the MC. Good thing is that you can care less about others things happening around the school if you wish to. When the hour is up you just pack up and go. Of course there are also FAJT who stayed beyond the hours for the benefits of the pupils.
CAJT is like a normal teacher. You are given a year's contract subjected to passing a medical checkup, paid by MoE, at Raffles Medical Centre. There is an element of uncertainty as RMC will not give a copy of the report to you. I was told that we only know whether we passed the medical in Jan, after we have joined the school, starting December 26 (so that we can attend the Staff & Department meetings before the new term starts, I think).  The yearly Performance Bonus (PB) may be paid subjected to good performance. However, DON'T expect the high end of the payment. The Principal decides whether we are subjected to performance ranking review by a KP or not. I heard that many Principal forgo the review for CAJT. However, SOME enthusiastic KPs may want to be heard in the name of developing and 'setting targets' with the CAJT. It showed 'POWER' in capital, for some of them, which is not uncommon in schools.
As a 3/4 workload CAJT, one needs not to be a form teacher or be in charge of a CCA. However, he may be asked to join an ad-hoc or event committee.

Looking forward to New Year
I believed that as a 'retired teacher', one has to count small blessings that come our way in our everyday life back in school. One just cannot go back to the former self. One also must not put up as a threat to narrow minded people who are afraid that we will break their rice bowl. Nowadays, there are so many SH posts and thus much more number of KPs (yes, in some schools, all their SHs are in the School Management Committee). These are younger group of teachers, 5 to 10 years service usually, who may felt uneasy if they have an 'old ginger' in their midst. So, don't act like you will be a threat!!!

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