Many children dream of becoming teachers. And they think the job comes with an attractive package which includes long vacations and a good salary. But, what most do not realise is that a teacher suffers pressure and frustration. Both E Li and K Chan, who do not want to disclose their full names, are University of Hong Kong graduates and new teachers. Both have a tremendous passion to help the younger generation. 'I always wanted to become a teacher,' said Ms Li. 'To think that I can do something to help young people is so fulfilling. Before I started to teach this month I had been thinking everyday about how to teach effectively. When I dined in a restaurant I thought of getting the English menu and turning it into a teaching material. I checked out English folk songs so as to lighten my English lesson.' But the reality is not what Ms Li expected. Besides being an English and history teacher, she is also form teacher to a form one class. She is responsible for the French Club and has house duty. She attends form and subject meetings frequently. Sometimes she is in charge of the detention class. 'I have no time for myself. I still need to work after I get home and even in my sleep I've been thinking about school matters. I just feel exhausted. People who believe, like I did, that a teacher's life is relaxed are suffering a fantasy. 'What is really frustrating is I am tied down by the school. I have hundreds of ideas to help the students understand but I have the fixed schedule to keep up with. To teach like a robot is the last thing I want to do.' Although Ms Li has no plans to give up her job but she is considering teaching in a private tutoring organisation which may allow her to concentrate on teaching. But not every new teacher feels the same. Ms Chan has a different attitude, a more positive one. She teaches in a band four secondary school in Ma On Shan. The students have a rather poor academic performance. Like Ms Li she also has quite a number of duties beside teaching but that has not put her off. But the students trouble her. 'They have a very poor command of English. Form four students even write sentences without verbs. Like 'The table dirty'. So I try to slow my teaching pace and start on basic grammar. I try to arouse their interest using games and exercises. 'Another problem is their attitude,' said Ms Chan. 'There was a student who disturbed the class and I asked him to stand up. He gave me a withering look and asked: 'Why should I?' 'This generation is different. They challenge the position of the teachers. In my time we respected our teachers as if they were our parents. We listened to them. Society has changed too. Students don't use dictionaries but a computerised handy machine. They have all sorts of comic books and TV games.' Ms Chan strongly believes in discipline first, teaching next. She said there was no way to make the students listen if they were chatting or listening to music. But Ms Chan is not going to quit yet. 'Teaching gives me satisfaction and when I see improvement I am thrilled,' she said.