Ms Ng Lee Siah

The amount of suffering caused by the pandemic has surpassed all imagination. There were a lot of questions about the role of education, school and teacher in the face of the pandemic. It became clear to me that education is beyond ensuring the future generation is workforce ready: school is not just a place where children learn and the teacher is not just someone who facilitates that learning. A resilient education system brings about hope, a good school is a stable force for our children amidst the chaos, and central to it, a teacher with a heart carries with him or her that stability into the classrooms and is a messenger of that hope. Regardless of the uncertainties, learning goes on so that students can be prepared for the future, as there is a future. Regardless of the chaos, we set expectations and rules in the classroom, conveying a sense of stability. I will not call 2020 – 2021 a high point, as I was at the lowest of lows myself, but it is a milestone that realigned my focus and renewed my passion for education with a deeper appreciation for the role of education in society.

The notion that “In theory, there’s no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is.” really resonates with me as a teacher. It reminds me to always allow for, and welcome unplanned situations that may crop up in a planned lesson. Situations happen because we are working with students with stories and emotions, and they most likely will not respond as planned. Being a teacher to me means, being able to achieve the learning objectives while recognising their individuality. I am still in awe of the amount of work my inspiring colleagues are pouring into each of their charges. I wish to be a teacher who is able to practice art of teaching while embracing the practicalities of the situation.

Outside of teaching, I enjoy exploring my creative side and working with my hands. Time seems to flow when I am with my pets, plants and doing painting. These activities also allow me to pick up new skills, gain new knowledge and to work creatively.