Jacques Barzun, French-born American historian of ideas and culture, once said, “Teaching is not a lost art, but the regard for it is a lost tradition”.
Indeed, teaching has become a profession that many would toss aside without even a moment’s thought as to the hard work, sweat and dedication each teacher puts in daily. No amount of bonus, rise in pay or even ‘stretch’ holidays can ever act as a compensation for what teachers go through. For most of us, work ends at 6, which is when, we return home to a house of love and hot food that sits waiting at the dining table. For most teachers, after school hours and even holidays, only mean extra time on the sidelines to catch up with marking, setting test papers and doing lesson plans.
For preschool teachers, the burden is not lessoned. Most preschools begin the day at 7am and teachers have to tend to sleepy-eyed children who fuss about for their parents or blankets. This alone is a daily regime. Preschools run on a 12-hour day and that is not counting the extra hours that some teachers put in to stay behind and wait with little Henry or little Annette, whose parents may be stuck in a jam or something else. So all in all, preschool teachers clock in a total of 12 hours (or more), which is 3 hours more than the average Joe (and don’t even get us started on Joe’s lunch hour and client ‘drinking’ meetings).
Preschools today have not reached a point when it would be difficult to acquire teachers however many see that problem occurring due to the higher qualification demand that the government is all set to introduce in January 2009. Currently the requirement qualifications demand a minimum of 3 GCE ‘O’ level credits including English and a certificate in pre-school teaching. However from January 1st 2009, a minimum of 5 ‘O’ level credits and a diploma in pre-school teaching.
Many in the childcare sector are rather unhappy with the new requirements as it means higher the education requirement, lesser the number of people entering preschool teaching. However, one centre is welcoming the change with open arms. That centre is The Children’s Campus, located at 25 Almond Crescent. That centre is The Children’s Campus, located at 25 Almond Crescent. TheAsianParent met up with Mr. Quak, who overseas operations and administration, and Ms. Nora, who supervises the whole centre.
The Children’s Campus
Mr Quak and Ms Noora are indeed looking for high educated teachers. But, they are also quick to realise something. “There is no point in raising the standard when there is not a good supply of teachers,” points out, Ms. Noora. However, don’t centres already have enough teachers and thus the new requirement will put the new teachers out of work? “We are always looking for teachers. There is no doubt the new teachers would still be able to find work because more centres are opening up” replies Mr. Quak.
The Children’s Campus recognises the importance of not only getting good teachers but also getting these good teachers to stay. A ‘makan session’ is held every month when the staff gets together and enjoys a nice hearty meal outside together, sharing their thoughts, feelings and just having fun.
The Children’s Campus classroom
An academic affiliate of Pat’s Schoolhouse, The Children’s Campus dabbles with the main subjects such as English and Chinese as well as cooking activities. The centre aims to build a good rapport with parents and hence attitude of the teachers is the utmost importance for the centre. The ratio of staff to children is rather small and the centre plans to keep it that way. The centre may not have a television or a computer but time that is usually wasted on such things, is dedicated to interaction, play time, etc.
With centres like The Children’s Campus boosting relationships with not just the parents and the children but with the teachers as well, teachers can look forward to working in such friendly environments with ease. There will always be an expectation that childcare teachers should give 100% but such an expectation should be accompanied with good treatment of the teachers as well and The Children’s Campus has already established that.
The Children’s Campus may be contacted at 6877 9123.