Students try out being pre-school teachers at workshop

Ping Yi Secondary School student Vanessa Lian tries her hand at being a pre-school teacher at a workshop organised by Ngee Ann Polytechnic yesterday, accompanied by poly student facilitator P Usha Nantini.
Ping Yi Secondary School student Vanessa Lian tries her hand at being a pre-school teacher at a workshop organised by Ngee Ann Polytechnic yesterday, accompanied by poly student facilitator P Usha Nantini.PHOTO: NGEE ANN POLYTECHNIC

Nearly 20 budding early childhood teachers tried their hand at guiding young children yesterday at a workshop aimed at facilitating interaction between pre-school kids and their future teachers.

In the first session of the two-day workshop yesterday, 19 Ping Yi Secondary School students took turns to guide 27 pre-school pupils from The Caterpillar's Cove Child Development and Study Centre through interactive stations created by special needs children.

At the stations, the "teachers" led the children to play hopscotch with "armour" made from cardboard or create "spy gear" to protect themselves in hospitals.

Held at the Objectifs Centre for Photography & Film in Middle Road, the workshop is a collaboration between Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) and Superhero Me, a community arts movement that aims to empower youth.

A total of 66 applicants for NP's Early Childhood Education and Child Psychology & Early Education course will try their hand at being an "educarer" at the workshop.

Said Nur Fatin Athirah, a Secondary 4 student from Ping Yi: "It was interesting because I could see how they (pre-school pupils) approached and solved problems in ways I wouldn't think of."

The workshop is held in line with the new polytechnic Early Admissions Exercise, which allows students with strong aptitudes and interests in certain fields to apply for related diploma courses before their O-level examinations.

An NP spokesman said applicants could show their passion for working with children by taking part in activities such as the workshop. It also allowed applicants to decide if a career in "educaring" suited them.

Student facilitators from NP were also involved. One of them, Ashley Low, 18, a second-year early childhood education student, said: "Passion and commitment are the two most important requirements."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 24, 2016, with the headline 'Students try out being pre-school teachers at workshop'. Print Edition | Subscribe