Continue supporting, encouraging teachers

As we celebrate Teachers' Day today, let us continue to be grateful to our teachers, as they are the invisible hands that mould and shape society.

Teachers may carry their worries over their students well into after-office hours. This is why they may have a harder time detaching themselves from their work.

In an age of a more discontented and demanding populace, teachers are increasingly in the spotlight.

They have to respond to increasing expectations from members of the public, including demanding parents. They address multifaceted challenges in and out of the classroom, and also face pressure for better performance, to change and to stay relevant.

All this has added to their stress. How do we ensure that teachers can adapt and adjust to the scope and pace of change? How can we develop teachers' capacity, ability and agility to handle stress and cope with changes? How can we alleviate teachers' administrative and operational duties so that they can better focus on their students? How can we shield teachers from overly demanding parents and unreasonable expectations?

I am confident our Government and various communities will continue to accord teachers due recognition and an important place in society. We can certainly do more to enhance teachers' image and professional dignity, as well as respect for them.

We should continue to encourage teachers by sending them thank-you notes, and supporting them. I thank all teachers for their sacrifices, effort and contribution.

Patrick Liew Siow Gian (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 02, 2016, with the headline 'Continue supporting, encouraging teachers'. Print Edition | Subscribe