Nurturing teachers of tomorrow

The Ministry of Education (MOE) building located at 1 North Buona Vista Drive.
The Ministry of Education (MOE) building located at 1 North Buona Vista Drive. PHOTO: ST FILE

MOE scholarship recipients urged to help future students reach their fullest potential

During his seven-month stint at Yuan Ching Secondary School, Mr Lim Yu Jie did not just teach his students mathematics and science.

The 22-year-old, who was a relief teacher there two years ago, learnt from them as well.

The Singapore Polytechnic graduate, who holds a biomedical science diploma, was once assigned to a Secondary 4 class whose students were energetic yet disengaged in class.

Realising that he had to step out of his comfort zone, he took a more lively tone during classes and used games to get his students excited.

"Every class requires a different method of teaching, even if you are teaching the same chapter," he said. "It was fulfilling to see them becoming more engaged in lessons, and I guess this helped in their learning."

Yesterday, Mr Lim, who hopes to teach biology at a secondary school, was among 176 recipients of teaching scholarships and awards from the Ministry of Education (MOE) during a ceremony at the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel.

Mr Lim will pursue a biological sciences degree at Imperial College London in October.

Fellow scholarship recipient Lim Zi Min, 18, did an internship at Ang Mo Kio Primary, where she had the opportunity to help prepare lesson materials and attend staff meetings. She chose the teaching scholarship over a healthcare merit scholarship, offered under the Health Ministry.

"Teaching has always been something I enjoy doing," she said. "Even before my internship, I found great joy teaching classmates and juniors - seeing them solve questions they were unable to do before was very rewarding."

In his speech at the ceremony, Acting Education Minister (Schools) Ng Chee Meng said that it takes "a special person to be a teacher".

He noted: "You need to be passionate about developing not only the minds of students, but their hearts as well."

Mr Ng also urged the scholarship recipients to help students discover their aspirations.

"When you finish your education and you come back to teach in our classrooms, remember to pay it forward, and play that pivotal role in helping your students achieve their fullest potential," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 30, 2016, with the headline 'Nurturing teachers of tomorrow'. Print Edition | Subscribe