Ms Mariya Ahmad
I graduated from National University of Singapore in 2007 with a Bachelor of Social Sciences (Honours), majoring in Sociology and obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Education at the National Institute of Education in 2008.
Although I was formally trained to teach English Language and English Literature at secondary level, I started off teaching General Paper. I enjoyed sourcing for videos and articles to pique students’ interest in finding out more about current affairs and world events. I encouraged my students to make their thinking visible by introducing routines such as Think Pair Share and Circle of Viewpoints, in the bid to nurture critical thinkers and reflective learners. I then went on to specialise in Project Work in 2014, where I was involved in developing teaching and learning resources and supporting my department in administrative procedures for Project Work assessment. In addition to being exposed to different topic areas that students work on, I really enjoy teaching the subject because it is fluid and there is no specific syllabus to adhere to. I believe the skills students attain after experiencing the Project Work cycle are aligned to the 21st Century Competencies, putting them in good stead as they navigate the fast-changing world.
A highlight of my teaching career was being part of an organising committee for an arts and aesthetics showcase in the previous school I taught at. I am passionate about the arts, so it was lovely to see students come together to hone their art forms, eventually materialising a shared vision. I believe that teaching ought to come from the heart, and that students should be the focal point of what we do every day. Teaching at the junior college level is deeply rewarding for me as I get to interact with students during some of the most formative points in their adult lives. At this phase, I believe that the responsibility for learning is shared by both teacher and student; I think of my role as consciously facilitating decision-making and carefully setting the stage for students to take ownership of their own learning.
When I am not teaching, I can be found dabbling in watercolour painting, splayed across my couch watching Netflix or baking in my cosy kitchen. One of my greatest accomplishments was baking my own wedding cake – all 3 tiers of it, from scratch! I attend baking and cake decorating classes from time to time to learn new techniques and build a repository of trusted recipes. Whenever I bake, I always have the expectation that everything will turn out perfect, but that is not always the case. I have gotten my fair share of sunken cakes and rock hard cookies. Same goes in teaching – there are good days where I would like to think I conducted an effective lesson but there are also bad days when students look confused and frazzled in class. Teachers make mistakes too, but that does not spell the end of the world. You either get the satisfaction of a job well done or the satisfaction that you did what you could do and the ability to learn from it, which to me is enough.