Five inspiring teachers win awards for innovative methods

Recipients of the President's Award for Teachers (from left): Ms Sim Lucy from Guangyang Primary, Ms Wendy Wong from Geylang Methodist Secondary, Dr Muhammad Nazir Amir from Greenview Secondary, Madam Linda Lim from Chongzheng Primary and Ms Rezia Ra
Recipients of the President's Award for Teachers (from left): Ms Sim Lucy from Guangyang Primary, Ms Wendy Wong from Geylang Methodist Secondary, Dr Muhammad Nazir Amir from Greenview Secondary, Madam Linda Lim from Chongzheng Primary and Ms Rezia Rahumathullah from Da Qiao Primary.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

Five honoured for their innovative teaching methods to engage students

Pupils in Ms Sim Lucy's Chinese class at Guangyang Primary are sometimes seen raising their arms or even throwing a punch.

They are not asking questions - or being naughty - but obediently learning Chinese using a set of hand actions developed by Ms Sim to help her charges remember how to write Chinese characters.

A punch represents a dot, while a raised arm stands for "shu" or a vertical line in Chinese script.

Ms Sim, 49, has also written songs using phrases lower pri- mary children have to learn. They learn while singing in class.

"I didn't like Chinese when I first started, but lessons are now fun and I am more attentive in Chinese class," said eight-year- old Alegria Lim.

Said Ms Sim: "Students these days are not like before, they don't just sit down and listen to you, you really have to engage them."

For her efforts, she received the President's Award for Teachers yesterday.

Four others - Madam Linda Lim from Chongzheng Primary, Ms Rezia Rahumathullah from Da Qiao Primary, Ms Wendy Wong from Geylang Methodist Secondary and Dr Muhammad Nazir Amir from Greenview Secondary - also won the award this year.

They received the award from President Tony Tan Keng Yam at the Istana yesterday.

Madam Lim, 38, received the honour for her innovative teaching methods in science class.

Pupils get to understand the concept of absorbency by testing which diaper soaks up the most liquid.

They even get to shake fizzy drinks and find out which one is the fizziest of them all. This is measured by the amount of liquid that overflows from each can with a given number of shakes.

"In science, seeing is believing," said Madam Lim. "I want students to know that science is all around them."

Da Qiao Primary scored a hat- trick as Ms Rezia, 36, is the third teacher from the Ang Mo Kio school to win the award.

Said her pupil Marcus Leong, 11: "I was a shy boy who even found it difficult to speak up.

"But Ms Rezia saw the bright spark in me and believed in my ability to lead even though I doubted myself," said the vice- head prefect of Da Qiao Primary. "I am grateful to her," he added.

kashc@sph.com.sg