Teachers need to be nurtured and cared for, not treated like robots subject to opaque performance appraisals and endless measurement of their merit. Harsh and fear-based expectations will not produce the desired creative fruit. In a recent survey conducted by the Ministry of Education in Singapore, three out of ten teachers reported not coping with stress but I suspect the real figures are higher than that. I have written critiques on the moral bankruptcy of performance appraisals and will not repeat them here.
Problems cannot be solved at the same level of consciousness that created them. Our paradigms and metaphors of education and what education really is in essence and expression need a radical revolution. The ongoing onslaught of neoliberal capitalism with its stock-market corporatist modus operandi uncritically imposed upon education is a travesty, to my mind. We may deny it but the truth will surface one day to bite us in our backsides and more with devastating effects on personal health and social wellbeing—human learners and teachers are first and foremost human beings, not human doings. Pause, slow down, take time, and forget about indicators of competitiveness and the like. They are chimeras.
Unlearn totalistic and predatory capitalism. Relearn the spirit and ethos of education from the core. Learn the artistry of living as total human beings, not fragmented robots. This is especially true for the managers, directors, leaders and ministers who make decisions that impact everyone below them in the food chain. Parents also have a lot of growing to do. Let go, let be. Grow a soul. Grow in wisdom. Care for your teachers.