I graduated from the National University of Singapore with a Bachelor of Social Sciences in Economics (Second Upper Honours). Before joining teaching, I was a Naval Officer in the Republic of Singapore Navy, where I got to meet young men from different backgrounds as well as understand the challenges they face. The greatest joy I derived was the ability to make a positive difference in my servicemen’s lives which drove me to join the education service.
As Subject Head for Economics in my previous junior college, I really began to appreciate the importance of student motivation, which we often take for granted. Teachers often aim to provide students with the best resources, lessons and assessments but sometimes forget that student motivation is critical in ensuring the effectiveness of these resources. I have tried to develop student motivation with constant reference to a Growth Mindset, where students believe that their ability is not fixed and can be developed. But more importantly, a positive teacher-student relationship is critical, and this involves spending time in and out of class to get to know the child better as a person. The ‘heart work’ is the hard work.
I strongly believe that education and teachers must move with the times. We cannot expect to prepare our students for the future without constantly questioning our prior beliefs and assumptions. Teachers must also be willing to keep learning and be open to using new ways of teaching and learning, such as through the use of technology. Learning can only become more meaningful to students when they are able to see the connections between the classroom and the world around them.
I enjoy spending my free time with my wife and three noisy daughters, who never fail to bring joy, tears and laughter to the family. Occasionally, Liverpool Football Club will take precedence.