This article is written from a first-person’s perspective of May Ten, Principal of LOT FMC Farrer Park.
In my journey here at LOT FMC Farrer Park (previously Foochow Methodist Preschool), I have seen many children come and go. We have also tried our best to take in children from all walks of life who struggle from different kinds of developmental and behavioural needs who were not welcome elsewhere. We have so many wonderful stories to tell of the journeys we walked with the children and their families, but here are just some of them! We hope that you will be as blessed and encouraged as we are by them.
Loving the little ones as God does
We had a child who had lots of behavioural issues and was always acting out in class, though we were puzzled as to why she was behaving this way. We then found out through certain incidents and things that she said that she was constantly trying to seek attention since she wasn’t getting the kind of love and care she desired at home. Thus, we became more intentional in showing her more affection and affirming her with our words. We also implemented this reward system where she would get an extra hug if she accumulated a certain number of stars awarded for good behaviour. Once, we asked her “do you like getting into trouble?” She responded, “No, I’m trying very hard,” which was true, because we could see that she was doing her best to listen and follow instructions.
Our team has also learnt a lot from caring for this 3-year-old girl who relies on a feeding tube, and has to go for surgery every month so that one day, she will be able to swallow and eat normally. She is often admitted to the hospital for oxygen support as her lungs are vulnerable, making her susceptible to infections.
Despite that, she is a very energetic child who is always keen to be with her friends. She started to be very cheeky as well, she would pretend to be very sleepy when she arrives so that I will bring her to the office for a little nap. In actual fact, she just wants the special attention and to spend time with me before she goes to class.
Everyone has been very encouraged by her progress – she can do almost all the tasks that her classmates can do now. At a recent carnival, she was so excited and was glad to be involved in all the activities such as cookie-making, even though she couldn’t eat the cookies. I am just so grateful for the chance to have crossed paths with her and provide a great childhood for her along with my teachers, since other schools that her parents went to had rejected her. If we think that having her in school for a few hours is challenging, we can imagine her parents need a lot more grace to care for her at home, so we try to provide all the support that we can to them. Sometimes, we may only be able to walk alongside the child and their family to a limited extent, but we are thankful to even be part of their journey.
Being a stepping stone for Christ
I love that I can be part of the journey of bringing Christ’s love to the children and their families. One father told us that he had ‘backslided’ in the faith and had not been to church in a long time. One week, the church held a Kindergarten Sunday where the children performed during the service and parents were invited to come. This father walked into church with the purpose of watching his son, but came back to the faith because of that day. He is currently still serving in the Foochow Methodist Church!
Another time, we visited a child who was from a pre-believing family, and her grandfather allowed me to pray for her healing. The grandfather then told me, “She will always say we have to give thanks for the food before we eat!” It is small things like that that can make a difference – the children will always bring back what they learn in school into their own homes and we never know the impact that it can have.
The parents told us that they could really feel the love at our preschool, as it is like a family. That is really the essence of what we want to achieve at our school – a loving and supportive environment for both children and families to call home.
We were so heartened by this incident where these parents moved their child to another commercial preschool, but felt that the atmosphere was too academic and cold. In the end, they brought the child back as they felt like they really could feel the love at our preschool, as it is like a family where everyone is always laughing and singing. That is really the essence of what we want to achieve at our school – a loving and supportive environment for both children and families to call home.
Find out more about LOT FMC Farrer Park in the link below.