WINNERS OF THE INSPIRING TEACHER OF ENGLISH - TEACHING AWARD 2015

Primary School Category

Ms Ilavarasi d/o Sekaran

Cantonment Primary School

“I have always enjoyed working with children and they inspire me to do my best for them. I love teaching the English Language as it allows me to differentiate my lessons, use creativity tools, experiential education and other approaches to meet the learning needs of my pupils. When children value what is being taught and know that I care, they will love the subject and be more motivated to excel. I believe that English Language lessons should be engaging and meaningful and that teachers should not teach the subject solely to prepare pupils for the examinations.”

“My School Leaders and colleagues have played a significant role in my career as a teacher. I feel it is important to always work together as a team and build on one another’s strengths and expertise, to develop quality lesson plans and programmes that will benefit our pupils.”

Ms Arafah Binte Tajudin

Eunos Primary School

“I believe in helping young students learn English in stages and developing their appetite for reading, so that their love for the language may grow. I also enjoy collaborating with my colleagues, exchanging lesson ideas and exploring new and innovative ways of teaching.”

“I particularly enjoy our weekly Mass English assembly programme where our little P1 and P2 students take the stage to deliver short presentations. Seeing the little ones slowly becoming confident and adept communicators keeps me going as their teacher.”

Secondary School Category

Mrs Tian Cheen Ngee

CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls' School (Secondary)

“As a parent, I expect my children’s teachers to be dedicated, innovative, inspiring and diligent. As a teacher, I must then be the same.”

“I have had many beautiful experiences in my teaching career, and three stand out. One was the chance to co-produce a play ‘Dream! Dare! Do!’ at the Kallang Theatre. It was a play that I had always wanted to be a part of since I was very much inspired by the stories that my father shared when he came to Singapore as an immigrant from China.”

“Another was when my ex-colleague and I got our S2 students to adapt Catherine Lim’s ‘Or Else, the Lightning God & Other Stories’ for younger children. As a result, the students also published an illustrated book which led to the girls promoting their book to even more primary school students. The third was in 2011 when 100% of my EL class, S4 Hope, scored distinctions in the ‘O’ level exam. It was immensely gratifying.”

Mdm Shagun

Mayflower Secondary School

“Teaching at Mayflower Secondary School is an exciting and exhilarating adventure. The School Leaders provide me with opportunities to explore, discover and learn. Each day brings memorable and priceless moments. I will always remember two students from my form class of 2014. The two boys were motivated but were not attentive in English lessons. Within a few weeks however, I was able to establish rapport with them and they were also given the opportunity to direct their own learning journey – to explore, research and think-out-of-the-box for many essay topics. That inspired them to work diligently to eventually score an A1 in the English exams.”

Ms Yogeswari Elangovan

Tanjong Katong Girls' School

“As a teacher of the English Language, I build students’ confidence as they master the English Language. I believe that language is a powerful tool for critical thinking and effective communication. Students just need opportunities to deepen their thinking, and as I equip them with abilities such as noticing, interpreting, evaluating, synthesizing and representing, they activate their residual knowledge, make connections, and acquire new knowledge in the process.”

“I respect each student for who she is, and for her capacity to learn. My objective is to use the most appropriate and innovative teaching pedagogies to help each student become confident practitioners of the English Language.”

Junior College and Centralised Institute Category

Mr Marc Kenji Lim

Catholic Junior College

“I teach so that my students can create. I teach so that they can move from a sense of anxiety about Literature to steady self-assurance in their own interpretations of a text. I teach so that they can bring what we study to life – to write with felicity, to indulge in a clever turn-of-phrase or to perform their own adaptation in sight and sound. Watching two of my classes re-create The Scarlet Letter and The Age of Innocence in our most recent Literary Evening was a moving experience. The true mark of my teaching is how much my students give themselves into their learning.”

“Applause, thank you cards and illuminating essays by students who once lacked confidence in their own ability remind me that my teaching does have meaning and purpose. What fills me with even greater pride is to see my own students help their peers develop their thinking and writing skills that I have helped them nurture.”

Ms Dionne Chow Xin En

Serangoon Junior College

“I love teaching General Paper (GP). The more I teach GP, the more I love it! When I teach GP, I see the tremendous value of the subject - how it develops not only the capacity of a person to speak and write, but also, to think. I see how it allows people to take on different perspectives and to form an opinion based on an informed judgment. The subject itself inspires me, and when you know that something is good, you would want to resonate with others.”

“One graduation day, a student came up to me and said, ‘I didn't think that GP was anything, but now, I see GP in everything.’ It was a very simple, but very profound statement, and it was a breakthrough for the both of us. His realisation truly validates my love for teaching GP, the subject.”

WINNERS OF THE INSPIRING TEACHER OF ENGLISH - LEADERSHIP AWARD 2015

Primary School Category

Mdm Suzanna Hashim

Anglo-Chinese School (Primary)

“I have always enjoyed working with children and they inspire me to do my best for them. I love teaching English as it allows me to differentiate my lessons, use creativity tools, experiential education and other approaches to better meet the learning needs of my pupils. When children value what is being taught and know that I care, they will love the subject and be more motivated to excel.”

“I believe that English Language lessons should be engaging and meaningful and that teachers should not teach the subject solely to prepare pupils for the examinations.”

“My School Leaders and colleagues have played a significant role in my career as a teacher and HOD. I feel it is important to continuously work together as a team and tap on one another’s strengths and expertise to develop quality lesson plans and programmes that will benefit our pupils.”

Mrs Tina Ng

Xingnan Primary School

“In leading my department, I champion the use of Standard English through the implementation of a whole-school approach to effective communication. I set up English learning walls and reading corners, promote weekly newspaper reading for students and monthly professional reading for staff. To enrich students’ language learning experiences, language arts programmes are organised for every level.”

“Believing that staff should also be good role models, my teachers and I celebrate models of good English and organise communication activities for staff and students every year, with the aim of developing all to be confident and competent users of the English Language.”

“To motivate my students to learn English and to instil values, I read stories for moral education to them in my lessons. To engage my students in learning, I organise group activities and provide opportunities for them to interact in English. I introduce journal writing for fluency and ensure that grammar and vocabulary are used in meaningful and authentic contexts. When my students are able to express themselves competently and confidently in speaking and writing, I feel a sense of achievement.”

Junior College and Centralised Institute Category

Dr Lim Yi-En

National Junior College (Integrated Programme)

“I believe that we never stop learning – to be better teachers, we have to be lifelong learners. We learn from books and from people around us, both older and younger than we are.”

“I do not see myself as teaching the English Language as a content subject. I try to impress upon my colleagues and students that we are learning together, to communicate ideas as much as we are learning to interpret what others want to communicate to us.”

“I love the challenge of looking for a breakthrough in student learning and to do so, I have had to think of appropriate games and even mathematical concepts to teach the English language. 15 years ago, it struck me that I could use the maths concept of common factors to teach coordinate structures. The students who were strong in maths but very weak in English were so tickled by the cross-fertilization between English and Mathematics that this stuck with them for a long time and they hardly made a grammatical error in that area thereafter.”

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