Teachers in Singapore get a day-off today and enjoy a well-deserved long weekend. It is Teachers’ Day and yesterday evening, our teachers enjoyed a good meal courtesy of volunteers serving on the Management Committee of our Child Development Centre. Earlier in the afternoon, some of these teachers also received a personalized video presentation from undergraduates in early childhood education at the Potsdam University of Applied Sciences. These undergraduates had been in contact with our teachers over 12 weeks and sent the video as a documentation of their learning experience. The videos also served as tokens of appreciation and it was most timely.
Yesterday, students all over Singapore celebrated Teacher’s Day and when they were dismissed from school, many returned to their previous school to greet teachers who had once taught them. This yearly ritual impresses on me that teachers leave a lasting impression on their students and more often than not, students are grateful especially when their teachers have been an affirming presence. At the Ang Mo Kio neighbourhood, 6 young persons folded origami hearts for more than 30 volunteers who have been providing homework support for their friends and them. The volunteers were visibly touched by the affirmation from their students.
Perhaps, the most satisfying teacher-student relationship is one where both are learning from each other. 12 weeks ago, 6 other young people aged from 11 to 16 years old joined the “DiscoTech Club” which is short for “Discovering Technology.” This weekly multimedia workshop aims to demystify technology and introduces photography, video editing, video game design and programming. This is an initiative of 5 volunteers led by Roberto, a research scientist and they have been discovering that not doing well in school does not mean that one is unable to learn. After being taught to use a camera and some simple video editing, participants have produced a video on a matter close to their hearts. (Just for context RC is Residents’ Committee and Jasmine is a colleague.)
Teachers impact their students in many ways, and I would say the most important contribution a teacher can make is to prepare their students to face the world.
Enjoy your week.
“Kids don’t remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are.” ― Jim Henson.