It has always been my dream to be a teacher. When I was younger, teaching was just an activity that seemed fun. Now I realize that being an educator involves much more work than standing in the front of the classroom giving a lesson and grading homework, but this knowledge has only served to increase my passion for this field.
I started having more interaction with youths after graduating from junior college, when I began teaching tuition to primary and secondary school students. This little foray into teaching reaffirmed my desire to work with students. Though working with them on a one-to-one basis might be different from teaching in a classroom setting, but the satisfaction of successfully helping them to grasp a concept is the same.
Participating in community service during my undergraduate years has helped to hone my patience. I was involved in Befriending, a Students’ Care Service (SCS) programme in which university students mentored secondary school youths who had trouble coping well in school. These students were often less privileged than their peers. Building rapport with them took quite a long time as they did not open up to us easily. I’ve learned that trust needs to be earned over time, and that rushing the process would not have worked.
During my schooling days, I have held leadership positions in class and in my Co-Curricular Activities (CCAs). These experiences involved having various responsibilities and working with other people. As a class leader in secondary school, I had to ensure class discipline while maintaining friendships with my classmates. During my term as the chairperson of the Befriending programme, I had to liaise between SCS and the school’s Community Service Club (CSC). From these experiences, I learnt the importance of preserving good relationships with people around me. As such, the interpersonal skills that I have picked up along the way will come in useful in relating with students and interacting with colleagues.
I strongly believe that a teacher should not just teach subject content. Impressionable young minds can easily be led astray, and a good teacher should instil in his or her students the ability to differentiate right from wrong. Most importantly, a teacher should be able to connect with his or her students and to motivate them to fulfil their potential. These are my goals as an educator.
When I was schooling, I met many great teachers who were excellent role models. I hope to emulate them in a teaching career and to inspire my own students, just like I have been inspired.