A chat with Agnes,Centre Leader of Yishun,who believes a love for learning and children is essential
In this series of chats with our staff, we get up close and personal. They share about things like their favourite drinks, to their experiences and motivations at work. Hi there, could you introduce yourself? I’m Agnes, I am the Centre Leader of Yishun. I am thankful to have Ms Uhma (Deputy Centre Leader) support me as I focus very much on curriculum side of things.
What does a typical day at work look like? It is busy, busy, busy! I start off the day connecting with teachers by having a little chat with them. Then I head to the office to do my usual paperwork, checking emails, and planning ahead as there are a lot of things coming up. Afternoons are packed with meetings as it is the only time teachers are available.
What is a pick me up that you need to keep you going? Coffee! I try to keep it controlled – but I need minimally 2 coffees in a day. Do you have any hobbies or interests outside of work? We definitely need interests outside of work as we need to keep ourselves alive and afloat! I like taking a walk on my own, to free myself from the frenzy and stress of the day. If I am very stressed up, I will clean up my house. Thank God cleaning is my hobby – so it doesn’t take much effort. Can you recall some encouraging moments amongst the teachers? I think the heart of the staff is very encouraging – the teachers, admin staff, Ms Uhma, they are all very committed to their work. 'No' is never an answer for them. I feel motivated by them and always feel I need to do more to support them. How did you decide to enter the Early Childhood sector? I was in MOE for 16 years as a teacher, and was approached 2 years before I left the industry - back then money was the motivation. However, I felt a deep calling, a stirring in my heart telling me its time for change. Thank god I am a person for/who likes change. I decided to take leap of faith to try out the industry. I didn’t start off well, had a lot of experiences -ups and downs - but I have grown a lot.
How can teachers stay motivated? The important thing that has kept me going as a teacher is actually the yearning to learn and improve. The ability to re-learn and learn more, finding new things to try out with the children as they are all so curious so the teachers must be as curious and keen to learn as possible. What is one quality that a teacher must have? Love and patience is the key - when you have love, it cascades down to the children, and everyone is happy. It makes the learning environment healthy for both teachers and children. What is one quality that a teacher must NOT have? Lack of love for children and learning as it is a big stumbling block.