Sunday, September 6, 2009

Why Do I Choose Teaching? Why Economics?

Every term without fail, I receive this popular question from my fellow students. Some even thought that with the knowledge and experience I possess, I should strongly consider exploring corporate field and taking up positions like economist and financial analyst. Besides, these jobs are considered as more financially rewarding.

Here are my answers:

(1) Noble profession. I truly enjoy the feeling of sharing my knowledge with others. Besides there is ‘nothing’ in the world that can defeat the joy and sensation of watching how your disciples are groomed and scored brilliantly in examination

(2) Flexible hour. I’m not that sure about the culture practised in some other colleges in Malaysia, but in my college working hour is so flexible. Everyday on average each lecturer will be required to teach of not more than six hours. Certain days some of us have no lecture or a minimal of two hours lesson. After that we can sign out or even opt to stay back

(3) Break. In between term, there are many breaks. For instance there will be no classes between end of December and the whole month of January. Also strategic months are like May and June. That is because the students are sitting for examination somewhere in between those periods. In August there is another three weeks of term break. For someone who stresses on leisure like me, this should be the first choice of career. However, most of the time I do take the opportunity to conduct several revision or additional classes to prepare my students better. This is a privilege not available to those in the corporate world

(4) Financially rewarding. Although my full time job is lecturing in college, the flexibility provided does allow me and my colleagues to take up a second or even third part time job elsewhere. For instance I’m selling some stuff in e-bay. Other than that, I work as personal assistant (PA) to the kids from a royal family. Some of my colleagues conduct tuition classes outside. Several even earn up to RM 30, 000 (£5,500) a month and that is fat money for an average Malaysian

(5) Meeting new people. Naturally I would like to meet up with new people all the time but I dislike doing sales. Again this job provides the kind of satisfaction I’m looking for. On top of that, each student and class has a unique profile. Lessons must be conducted in a way that suits the atmosphere of that class. I need to create the right ambience which may not be easy but will definitely be an interesting one

(6) Economics is fun. There are so many new things to explore. While the principles and theories hold, it may not work all the way we desire (due to assumption of ceteris paribus earlier). This is where the role of evaluation sets in. Also the subject by nature is very dynamic. There is plenty of news to be digested each day and if possible adopted and assimilated into lessons. As with Math which I previously taught, I find that numbers are static. More or less it deals with our algebraic skills and the ability to manipulate formulas. Questions in examination are highly predictable and same things are taught over and over again which lead to boredom

(7) Do things my way. Being a lecturer, I have full control of how things are done. For instance, I need to ensure that my students love the subject as much as I do (although not all) and therefore employ the proper mechanism to create such interest. I’m in full control in many other aspects such as number of assignments to be given, whether to conduct revision workshop during the holidays or not, how many past year questions to discuss, speed of lesson in each class etc. In corporate one is taking orders from upper management and is highly unlikely I have such vast influence on how things are done. For instance, when I was working in a private bank, there are some standard procedures to process a legal document. Not to forget that all workers have to face ridiculously tight deadlines e.g. turnover of documents in two days and there are so many follow-ups

(8) Recession proof industry. Education is one of the very few industries out there that is constantly facing an upward trend in demand. In developing countries like Malaysia, private education is an integral part of the economy. Increasing number of parents are now aware of the importance of obtaining quality education and therefore ready to pay high sum of money sending their kids to private institution. Upon the completion of pre-U programme such as the A-Levels, many will pursue their tertiary study in top institutions from UK, US, Australia and Singapore. In recession, demand is even greater. Both working and retrenched executives are considering to further their studies to increase their marketability. As such I strongly feel that I landed in the ‘perfect’ job

No comments: