We put the ultimate trust in our child's preschool teachers. So it is heartening to see the same teachers being recognised and felicitated for their vision, commitment and passion towards the education and well-being of our little ones. Read on to find out about My First Skool's ECDA Awardees.
“My fellow teachers, you will never know how much impact you will leave on the children with every word you say and every action you take.” — Teacher Ang Yiam Hong, winner of ECDA’s Individual Outstanding Educarer Award
A school could offer you the finest infrastructure, huge open playgrounds and state-of-the-art facilities but if it is not run by deeply committed and passionate teachers, it would all add up to nothing.
It is not brick and mortar, but good teachers who lay the foundations of your child’s learning journey.
When we send off our little one’s to their preschools, we hope that they will be cared for, nurtured and encouraged to develop a love for learning. We put our ultimate faith and trust in our children’s teachers.
It is therefore heartening to see our children’s teachers being recognised and felicitated for their vision, commitment and passion towards their job as well as the learning and overall development of the little ones in their charge.
Recently NTUC’s My First Skool won several of the ECDA Awards for Excellence in Early Childhood Development, including those for individual teachers as well as those for their centres.
We spoke to some of the principals and teachers involved to understand how they approach teaching and what is it that they are doing differently that distinguishes them from others around them.
The level of thoughtfulness, farsightedness and commitment displayed by each one of them is remarkable.
Teacher Ang Yiam Hong: Individual Outstanding Educarer Award
You have to be pretty special as a teacher to win this particular award, and Teacher Ang Yiam Hong of My First Skool @ Bishan Blk 245, is definitely that and more.
She has been awarded the ECDA Outstanding Early Childhood Educarer Award 2015, which honours passionate educarers who are role models in early childhood care and education.
Her attitude towards her own role as an early years teacher becomes very clear when she explains what she sees as the teacher’s role in that stage of a child’s life. “To me, there are three roles a teacher plays in a child’s early years,” she says.
“They are to support, participate and guide. Teachers have to give constant support to the children and always be ready to offer any help, always giving them a happy childhood experience.
“Apart from providing support, teachers should also participate in our children’s class activities as a friend instead of as a teacher, thus building good relationships with the toddlers. Last but not least, to allow them time and space to grow into physically and mentally healthy children.”
Part of this exercise, she believes is instilling good hygiene habits in the children so that they will stay healthy and not be as susceptible to illnesses that come with poor hygiene habits.
She finds that as a Mother Tongue Language teacher, it is her duty to ensure that children are able to understand and able to express themselves freely in Mandarin. She also believes that “It is very important to integrate a child’s cultural background into his learning experience because Singapore is a multicultural country.”
At the same time, it is important to her that “we have to let our children understand that despite the differences in skin colour, food preferences or the way we dress, we must mutually respect and love one another.”
On being asked what does she think she is doing right as a teacher, what is it that makes her a role model, she says that it is a combination of her own experience and the training given by My First Skool that has brought her to the conclusion that each child needs to be taught in a way that is appropriate to him/her.
She adds, “As the Chinese saying goes, “Children are the feet, teachers are the socks” (孩子是脚，教育是鞋, I believe that every child is different and we have to apply the most appropriate education method that is best suited to their interests.”
Her advice to other teachers: “Early childhood education is not an easy job. If you have selected this profession, please devote time with much love towards the children under your care and have a positive attitude at all times. Allow the children to learn in a loving environment as health and happiness is of utmost importance. My fellow teachers, you will never know how much impact you will leave on the children with every word you say and every action you take.”
Teacher Ang has worked with My First Skool for 23 years and believes that here she has been given plenty of learning opportunities thus allowing her to become a role model.
She describes herself as an “aspirational teacher” who always wants to “improve my skills and abilities” and appreciates the fact that My First Skool has offered her the opportunity for improvement through continuous training.
She thanks My First Skool for giving her “such a great opportunity to become a person of my dreams – a teacher who is able to be a beacon of light to my students.”
Click on next to read about the other teachers of My First Skool who have won the ECDA Awards and learn about the amazing work they are doing with our children.