EL Charlotte Tan

Mrs Charlotte Lee

Fun fact: I come from a family of teachers. My father taught in a polytechnic, my mother taught in primary schools and my husband lectures in a university.

I had my first teaching stint as a teaching intern at a junior college when I was 19 – that was when I found my love for teaching General Paper. Thereafter, I took on the MOE Teaching Scholarship. I graduated from the National University of Singapore with a Bachelor of Arts with Honours (Distinction) in English Language.

In NUS, I found my passion in film analysis and worked on several research papers in that area. I had the opportunity to write a thesis analysing and comparing the different uses of the Elvish Language in Tolkien's and Jackson's The Lord of the Rings. I was also roped in to work additional academic papers with some of my professors in my final year, where we looked at how masculinity had been portrayed through all the Bond films. As a result, I often use film to make difficult concepts more relatable to students.

I have had the privilege of serving at multiple secondary schools and working with students from all facets of society. My pedagogical skills expanded the most in a secondary school, where I started as a Beginning Teacher – I worked with graduating classes in my first year there, helping students find their footing and personal voice with the English language.

In my second year, I was given the chance to be a Level Coordinator, where I was given the space to decide on the resources for the cohort, and lead a team of teachers to bring their hopes and dreams for the students to fruition. As a result, I realised that great outcomes are not the result of a great idea, but the by-product of working well with a great team. Through the years, I worked with students from every stream – this helped me understand that students do not care how much their teachers knew, until they knew how much their teachers cared.

Being a communicator and extrovert at heart, I found much enjoyment being part of the Talent Management Committee at my previous school. There, I liaised with external vendors to guide high performing students through a variety of different learning experiences. I spearheaded a project that focused on self-awareness, empathy and conversational skills. At its core, we anchored the programme on the premise that youths want to live a meaningful and impactful life that is true to their beliefs and values. Hence, the purpose of the programme was to give them the tools to be powerful change-makers.

So why General Paper? It seemed to me that most subjects looked at the past (understanding what has already been discovered), but GP was the one subject that always looked forward. Because GP aims to help students develop the ability to think critically and convey ideas in the most effective and fair-minded way, students who are taught well will reap benefits far beyond their 2 years in the classroom. It has the potential to improve the way we relate to our future spouses, the way we empathise with the needy, and the way we process our internal struggles. For this reason, I see the value in GP, and I hope to help students find joy in learning it.

In my free time, I exercise, teach in Sunday School, play the piano and bake with my family.