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A chat with Uhma, Vice Principal at Yishun who loves engaging children and also mentoring staff

Updated: Jan 24

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, could you introduce yourself? Hi I’m Uhma (short for Uhmadevi), I am the Vice Principal. I co-work together with the Centre Leader, Ms Agnes who is in charge of curriculum, while I am in charge of operational duties. What does a typical day at work look like? My day starts off in the morning, I greet and mingle with teachers. Sometimes I do relief teaching for my co-worker teachers who come in for later shifts. Thereafter, I go to the office to do paper work, rostering of staff schedules, and other inventory and reports.

What is most enjoyable about what you do? I started off my journey being a preschool teacher; I love engaging myself with the young ones, teaching them, but do I miss it a lot after I stepped into the office role. I do get opportunities to go out mingle with teachers and children still. I do get job satisfaction through scaffolding teachers and assisting and helping them. I love working with my team – we are like one big family over here.

What is one quality that a teacher must have? Definitely you should love your job, and not do it just for the sake of earning a salary though it is important. More than that, you should be passionate and love what you are doing. You should also have lots of patience especially for the younger ones. How would you motivate your teachers? I would mentor and guide them as being a new teacher is not easy, with lots of ups and downs. But it’s about how we support them. With the support, they will realise that this job is not bad, it’s ok, I’m having fun and I’m loving this – that’s when the passion comes in.

Can you recall some encouraging moments amongst the teachers? All of us are very committed in what we are doing. Teachers who are needed to assist other teachers are very willing to help if there is someone who is down. Reports and tasks given to teachers are always done on time. What is a pick me up that you need to keep you going in a day? Well, I’m trying to cut down. In fact, all my teachers also know! It is caramel milk tea with extra caramel.

What are some hobbies or interests you have outside of work? I love to cook and bake. I try to go through Youtube recipes and I create my own fusion dishes as well. Of course, my guinea pigs are my family members. If they give the thumbs up – means the food is good. Otherwise, I will scratch it and try something else.

So that’s how I relieve my stress – I would go home and prepare dinner for my kids and find creative ways of cooking. I find it de-stressing as I chop the vegetables and everything.

Uhma and her family whipping up home made vegetarian chicken rice, with chilli, black pepper chicken & cucumber greek yogurt salad


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