Thanks, teachers, for your priceless difference: Education Minister Heng Swee Keat

Minister of Education Heng Swee Keat addressing 250 student leaders from 136 secondary schools at the first National Secondary School Student Leaders Conference at *scape in 2012. Remember to be proud of yourself, your school and your students, Educa
Minister of Education Heng Swee Keat addressing 250 student leaders from 136 secondary schools at the first National Secondary School Student Leaders Conference at *scape in 2012. Remember to be proud of yourself, your school and your students, Education Minister Heng Swee Keat wrote in a Facebook letter to teachers one day before school re-opens after the March holidays. -- MY PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

Remember to be proud of yourself, your school and your students, Education Minister Heng Swee Keat wrote in a Facebook letter to teachers one day before school re-opens after the March holidays.

On Sunday evening, Mr Heng went on Facebook to thank teachers and support staff in the school system for the "priceless difference" they make, and encouraged them to continue developing themselves professionally.

This was because he did not have enough time in Parliament to share all the stories that have touched and inspired him during the Budget debate, he wrote.

"When we seek to bring out the best in every child, it takes more than good teaching curricula, strategies or experience - it takes heart," he said. "I know you put your heart into the children and that is why they can discover their true interests and reach their best."

He added that more challenges lie ahead.

"Our children will need, more than ever, tools to guide them when the path ahead is not laid out... They will need a compass of values and character that will keep them focused on their true North even when the terrain throws up surprises."

They will also need higher order thinking skills to help them carve out new routes in uncharted territories.

To bring out the best in children, he said teachers must also be able to reach their personal and professional best too. "Just as we want our students to learn new skills, teachers also need to be models of lifelong learning," he added.

"In the coming years, the Academy of Singapore Teachers and our specialised teachers' academies will do even more to support your continuing professional development."

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