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?
Hi, I’m Joed Che, I’m 29 this year and I’m an Education Support Teacher working with children who have developmental needs. I am usually stationed at Jurong West Centre.
What did you study before you started your career?
I studied Child Psychology in Ngee Ann Polytechnic and completed my degree in Psychology in 2022.
Why did you decide to join the preschool sector?
I happened to join the preschool sector by chance. I totally didn’t expect to it turn out like this as my trajectory was towards psychology rather than being a preschool teacher. In my third year of practicum, I went to a special education school and it sparked my passion from there. I liked what I was doing and I decided to work with children with developmental needs. I found it meaningful and enjoyable.
Why do you like to work here at PPS?
I like working at PPS as I learn something new everyday and there is always a new set of challenges. With the support of my leaders, I am always learning and improving. I feel excited to come work to interact with the children everyday. When you first joined the sector, what was the greatest challenge?
The first thing for anyone who is starting out in a new workplace would be the unfamiliarity. Initially, it took me some time to get used to the new processes and documentation, and also how the Centre works. Thankfully, I have very supportive and patient leaders and colleagues who guided and taught me well, allowing me to grow at my job.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
To see the children under my care learning and achieving the goals that we have set together is very rewarding. In fact, when progress is shown naturally in the classroom setting and not in the presence of the Education Support Teacher, it’s even better. Being able to see them grow and see how far they have come makes me feel I have chosen the right path to be a teacher.
How would you describe your culture at work?
It feels warm like a family and everyone feels quite close. After all we have no choice but to face each other everyday and rely on each other for a lot of things. As my role requires me to work with different teachers at a time, they are very open and receptive to the ideas I suggest and we all work together towards the well being of the child.
As the only male teacher in your Centre, is there anything in particular you have to do that is different from the female teachers? When I joined, my principal gave me advice on how to protect myself, what I should take note of. There are certain routines that I need to be more careful with the children, for example toileting routines. As I am working with children with developmental needs and most of them are training for functional goals, it’s inevitable that I will need to do toileting routines with them, so I need to be very mindful of my actions and try make sure there are other teachers with me.
Do you think it’s important to have male teachers in the industry? Why?
Yes, I believe it is important as to break the stigma that only female teachers can teach in preschool – it’s nice to have some diversity. Some children may also respond better to male teachers and for those kids with disadvantaged background situations, it's good for them to have a fatherly figure to look up to and have someone to guide them.
What would you say to other males thinking of joining the preschool sector?
For other guys/males thinking of joining the preschool sector, I would say explore what they really want to do, who knows if it will turn out to be better than expected!