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A chat with Alicia Yah, the "bao ga liao" lady who juggles work, family and fitness

Updated: Aug 28, 2023

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.

Hello, could you introduce yourself?

I'm Alicia, and I am a Curriculum Mentor in PPS. What does a typical day at work look like? I’m like “bao ga liao” (meaning “to cover everything” in Hokkien). I do lot of things, and my day changes everyday. Some days, I would be preparing training materials, some days I relook at the curriculum and come up with ideas on how I can help the centre leaders and teachers in the school. I juggle with so many things, and look at many things everyday. Everyday is different!

What is a pick me up that you need to keep you going? That would be fresh fruits with greek yogurt and honey!

Do you have any hobbies or interests outside of work?

I’m a very busy person - I have 4 children and a household to look after! Hobbies are actually something that is a luxury at the moment. If I have any spare time, I would exercise or take a walk. Otherwise, I would spend time chatting and talking with my husband.

What are some fun things that happen at work? I prefer visiting the centres rather than being in the office, and I get more fun going down having conversations with teachers, principals and children. Watching children in action, doing lesson observations and having dialogues with teachers is fun for me. I enjoy my work, but I also enjoy being around people. As long as I am around people, I can have fun. For the past few months, it has also been great fun helming projects with the centres. For example, we had the Creation C.A.R.E project where I got to see the different centres getting children to be advocates for animals and even coming up with different ideas for fundraising.

I also love working with my colleagues - when we go through challenges together, having teamwork helps pull everything through. When it’s a success, it’s something to celebrate about.

What are some encouraging moments in your journey with PPS so far?

Whenever I train the teachers, they would go back to the centres and try whatever we have imparted to them during trainings. They would then see children responding to the new skills and techniques taught to them, and to see such results is encouraging. During trainings, questions from teachers to trainers and vice versa helps everyone to think deeper, reflect and sharpen their thinking and translate theory to what they do in the classroom.

How do you stay motivated at work? For me, it would be conversations with my colleagues. When we are all back in the office, we have conversations and discourse about how we can provide quality curriculum for the children and also make improvements to it. Through dialogues, trainings, conversations with teachers, it helps me to sharpen my thoughts to continue to improve the curriculum in PPS.

Why is it important to be motivated?

Being passionate is one thing, but passion can die out, while motivation is a day-to-day thing. Motivation is needed so that there is something you look forward to, there is some hope to hold on to. There must be something you really wanna do as it drives the person forward and towards growth as well.

What is one quality that a teacher must have? There isn’t just one most important quality in a teacher for me. Teachers must be nurturing and have a growth mindset. I believe children should grow in a safe and secure environment, and with teachers being nurturing and caring, it helps the children. Wherever we are, we also need to constantly grow - there are always areas for growth. It is helpful to have that mindset. In PPS we grow together as a community and help each other sharpen our skills. What is one quality that teacher must not have? Having a bad attitude something that I don’t wish to see. It’s one thing to have negative thoughts, but it is serious if a teacher has a bad attitude. If you don’t submit to the centre leaders and do not care about the children and you are just here for the job, it is hard to be in the Early Childhood sector.


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