If you’ve ever wanted to have the customary interview with me before enroling your child, cheer. I’m doing it for you now! I think we all agree that a strong parent-teacher relationship is vital for both ease of mind and partnership in helping the child… so here’s all the background knowledge you might want.
Why are you in education? For the love of people. My first passion has always and will always be people. When I discovered that I could make a big difference in the lives of children through becoming a literacy teacher, I jumped in with both feet. The more I work with young children, the more I love it… and the more I am convinced that this is my calling!
How long do you plan to stay in this field, and do you think you’ll ever switch careers? I’ve been asked this many times, which is why I’m including this question. Like I’ve said above, I believe I have found my calling in working with children, and I don’t see any reason why that should change anytime soon. Early childhood education is a big, big field, with many specializations. Whether I will continue to teach literacy all my life is not for me to say. However, I do believe that I’m now only on the threshhold of this unique calling, and am looking forward to a long, long stay! :)
Can you give me some idea of what your track record and academic background are like? During my schooling years, I discovered that I am not an academic person. I did well enough in school (proportionate to the effort I put in!!) to enjoy it, but I was not a high flier. Thanks to home school, I was able to filter out things like peer pressure and a scores-emphasis, to focus instead on really learning—building on my store of knowledge for the future. This laid the foundation for my interest in education… this, coupled with the loving support of wonderful parents who understood that education is about learning, not high scores. For the record, I passed my high school years mostly with A’s and B’s (and lots of hard work!). English was my forte and math was my Achilles tendon. I took the SAT I in 2009… it reflected the above pattern! You can take a look at the details here.
You are a home schooler? So… what’s that all about? You can find the academic details on my about page; I’ll just share a little bit more here. Home schooling here in Singapore gave me the opportunity to study at home through a correspondence course based in America. It gave me the unique privilege of spending my formative years at home. My mother was my supervisor and teacher, and my brothers and sisters were my schoolmates. That was more fun than you’d expect!
What about your social life? *hehe, I’m always amused by this question!* Contrary to popular belief, mine was not a life cooped up in the four walls of my home. I had ample opportunities to interact regularly with friends, both fellow home schoolers and those in the local schools… and even those from overseas. In addition, because I was not mixing all day everyday only with my peers, I learned to enjoy interacting and developing friendships with a wide spectrum of age-groups. I now reap the benefits of these early exposures… you teachers know that teaching young children involves forming relationships with their parents, guardians, grandparents and other teachers! :)
How much experience do you have in teaching? I cut my educator’s teeth coaching my younger siblings in home school. Though I only started teaching at home fulltime when I graduated in October 2008, I taught on and off even before that, whenever I had the opportunity. Mostly I taught primary level EMS (English, math, science), wrote their lesson plans and planned their learning sequence with my mom. It was a rich experience, and one that strongly influenced my philosophy of education!
I started teaching phonics to preschoolers in April 2010. With those home school teaching years of experience, teaching preschoolers gave me a new perspective and enriched my experiences further. I came to love nurturing their minds and helping them build positive learning experiences. My greatest reward has been seeing a child come to me unable to read a single word, some of them without even a complete knowledge of the alphabet… and leaving my classroom independent, confident readers when they graduate. Love it!
What is your philosophy of education all about? It’s my approach to teaching. Three components: RESPECT, UNDERSTANDING and PARTNERSHIP.
- Respect for the child—his learning style dictates your teaching method; his interest dictates your approach; his strengths and weaknesses dictate your focus. I believe that education should be child-centred.
- Understanding of the child—understand the child’s background, learning style, approach to learning, weaknesses, and meet him at his level. Keywords in my approach: never assume, thoroughly know the child, build on his strengths to help his weaknesses. I believe that education should be as individualized as possible, because every child is different.
- Partnership with the child—the whole purpose of education is for the equipping of the child. This equipping needs both your input and his. It is neither wholly directed by the teacher nor the child. Instead, it centres around helping the child to learn, with the teacher providing support, guidance and facilitation: a partnership!
What do you most like and most dislike about what you’re doing now? I love working with the children. I can honestly say that I look forward to every lesson I have with them, enjoy each child I work with and thank God for leading me into this line. What I most dislike? The paperwork! I’m not an admin type of person, and unfortunately, don’t have an eye for all the nitty gritty details and things. Details in paperwork and admin work kills me, but I suppose it’s good discipline so I won’t complain! :D
Enough said. I hope you have a better idea now of the teacher behind this phonics programme. If you have further questions, please post them in the comment box below; you’d be helping someone else by doing so. Thank you for reading! Come learn with me!