I went for breakfast at the Macs outlet in Potong Pasir after my invigilation duty. It was a case of bad timing and noisy ambience. I had brought along 4 days' worth of backdated newspapers with me in the hope to do some major catch up. The plan was to execute my mission in perfect peace and quiet. However, the outlet was crawling with SAS boys and most shockingly, the turnover was just as high.
In light of the recent high profile on teachers' behaviour in public places, the choice to clear my tray was not a choice at all. Not that I do not have the habit to do so, it's the public scrutiny that some of us feel has robbed us of our privacy.
Interestingly, this topic was raised during lunch time at the usual coffee shop outside school. Some colleagues and I shared our harrowing experiences of bump-ins with students - past and present. We agree that there are forbidden zones to avoid on weekends if we treasure some sanity and privacy. The malls mostly fall within the Orchard Belt, especially Cineleisure and Plaza Singapura.
Personally, I do not mind running into students on the streets. However, I do have the following requests :
1) Do greet using a decibel level that is audible within a 1 metre range. However excited you may feel in seeing a teacher out of school, kindly do not scream like you do when you are at a Black Eye Peas concert.
2) Keep the conversation short and simple. The teacher's other half and extensions have been known to turn green with envy for students have already milked the former's attention from Monday to Friday (sometimes on Saturdays too), so the weekends do belong to families and loved ones.
3) If you should choose to ignore the teacher for whatever reason, do not point, gawk or flash any significant gesture when s/he walks past you. Teachers are not rock stars. If you want their signatures, make your requests politely during their office hours (if there is a clear line to draw that at all).
Abiding by the above guidelines would bring greater peace in our already much troubled times.