Overtime

Overtime

The last school bell is an awaited sound – it announces the end of the day for the students. But for teachers, it is a different story. We tend to forget that our mothers in school are also mothers in their homes.

As government employees, teachers are expected to a 40-hour work a week. This excludes all the outside hour efforts exerted to prepare for learning materials or respond to student inquiries. Outside the school, they have their responsibilities as a child to their mothers, a sister to their siblings, and most significantly, a mother to their children. This scenario is seemingly exhausting to realize, and indeed it is.

The expectation for a teacher to deliver quality education is extreme and is growing unrealistically. Educating students is the general idea of the role of teachers, but behind the scenes, this includes lesson planning, material preparation, and a susceptible implementation. The weight of guiding hundreds of unique students can be too much. No matter the effort put into teaching, these very guiding lights are trapped in the country’s education system that can lack support for the teachers themselves.

Further into this lifestyle is their undertaking as a mother. They remain responsible for assuring that their children develop into mature and responsible adults while managing their homes.

Both roles are laborious and demanding. And depending on their priorities and standards, being a teacher and a mother requires sacrifices and boundaries to coincide. “[This] taught me to strategically balance work and family. If I go home, I leave my work at school, and when I am in school, I leave my family concerns,” shares Precila Baclig, a homeroom adviser and a Physics and Research teacher.

The pandemic has especially been challenging in establishing boundaries of work and home for our female protagonists. It begs the confrontation to be a mother to their students in their family’s territory.

This situation also seeks them to learn new mediums to reach their students. During the days when they are to conduct their classes from their homes, they are forced to make ends meet with the technical difficulties and environmental distractions that exist.

“I am lucky that my students are understanding. They immediately give me feedback,” says Baclig on cases of external factors that she cannot control during her classes.

Constantly, these women face challenges from the system in their pursuit of nurturing society’s future. The least we can do is to appreciate their efforts. But this does not eliminate the fact that they need governmental support to help them stand by their duties as mothers and teachers.

This is a modern generation. Women are their persons and can earn for their families. But add this with their structural responsibilities as a mother, we then see a person of strength and character.

It is exhausting to manage hundreds of children, but for the mothers in classrooms and homes, it is a lifestyle – and this does not end after the sound of the bell.

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