8 teachers honoured for exemplary effort in teaching Chinese language (24 September 2022)

"SINGAPORE - Eight teachers were recognised on Saturday for their exemplary effort in teaching Chinese language in schools.

They received the Distinguished Chinese Language Teachers Award at a ceremony at the SPH News Centre in Toa Payoh."

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Minor Issues: Why I get my kids to tell me when they go out (25 September 2022)

"SINGAPORE – Our two boys are now 20 and 17, but they still notify us when they go out.

As parents, we are not control freaks who monitor every movement of our kids. But we have developed a simple habit where they give us a heads-up when they deviate from their normal routines."

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Pick up effective study tips from scholarship recipients (25 September 2022)

"SINGAPORE – I am busy, I have no time. It is a common refrain among teenagers – and understandably so.

Schoolwork can be overwhelming, especially when students are taking around 10 subjects in secondary school. Add to that co-curricular activities (CCAs) and other school events."

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Fun With Kids: F1 Lego fun, Deepavali-themed activities, Malay singing contest (25 September 2022)

"SINGAPORE – Make family time all the more special with these ideas and activities.

Experience: Lego Technic McLaren Formula One race car

Now your kids can experience what it is like to be in the driver’s seat of the McLaren Formula One race car – well, almost."

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Final prep for PSLE: Expert tips on how to support your child before exam starts on Thursday (26 September 2022)

"SINGAPORE - With the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) starting on Thursday, here are resources parents can use to support their child in his final lap of exam preparation.

Over the past year, The Straits Times has asked educators and experts for their best tips on helping pupils do well in the PSLE. Their advice, strategies and suggestions are collated here."

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10 teachers given Caring Teacher Awards (27 September 2022)

"SINGAPORE - When one of Ms Nor Faatihah Haron's N-level students started missing school regularly, she went to the student's home, and found out that the girl had a complex family situation.

She spoke to the student to find out how she could offer support and motivation, and one day accompanied her to school via public transport."

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More mother tongue language books for children to become available at public libraries, on NLB app (27 September 2022)

"SINGAPORE - Young children and their parents can soon read more books in the mother tongue languages at public libraries or by using an application on their mobile phones.

Under a new deal between National Library Board and Lee Kuan Yew Fund for Bilingualism on Tuesday, more English language children's picture and story books will be translated to Chinese, Malay and Tamil."

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This counsellor pursued a Masters to better support the emotional needs of children with special needs (30 September 2022)

"When Ms Chan Peilin was in secondary school, she was diagnosed with dyslexia and tactile defensives (high sensitivity to touch).

"Before my diagnosis, I was often misunderstood as being lazy or difficult when I couldn’t keep up," she recalls."

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Watch out, cheats: ACS (Independent) exploring the use of artificial intelligence to invigilate exams (30 September 2022)

"SINGAPORE - Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) is exploring the possibility of using artificial intelligence (AI) for invigilation during examinations.

It will be able to detect irregular behaviour among students and help reduce the manpower needed for school-based examinations, the school said."

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How to teach young children about money (2 October 2022)

"SINGAPORE – Ms Dawn Cher’s son, Nate, may be only four years old, but she is already teaching him about the world of money.

Since April, she has been giving him an “allowance” of $6 on some weekends for him to spend on kiddy rides and toys."

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Fun With Kids: Where to go for Children’s Day and Halloween activities (2 October 2022)

"SINGAPORE – October is set to be a month of extended Children’s Day celebrations and Halloween fun. Here are nine places to check out with your family.

1. Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay

Celebrate Children’s Day on Friday with free performances and activities at Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay."

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Minor Issues: Should parents check their teenagers’ mobile phones? (2 October 2022)

"SINGAPORE – Should I be checking my teenagers’ mobile phones? It is a question I have wondered about from time to time.

My teenagers leave their smartphones in the living room at night. It is one of the rules my husband and I decided on when we gave them cellphones at age 13."

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Teach young children about money by giving an allowance (2 October 2022)

"SINGAPORE – A good way to teach young children about money is by giving them an allowance.

Experts recommend daily allowances for lower-primary children, so it would not be too overwhelming for them to manage the money."

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Mentoring students so no one is left out (16 September 2022)

"Tan Hui Min wants to impact the lives of young children through their educators – while caring for the welfare of the educators too.

Tan Hui Min, National Institute of Early Childhood Development, President's Award for Teachers 2022 Recipient

Tan Hui Min always knew she wanted to make an impact on the lives of little children, when she was an early childhood educator. What she didn’t plan for was how much she would enjoy teaching young adults.

As a lecturer at the National Institute of Early Childhood Development (NIEC), Hui Min teaches the next generation of early childhood educators. They make the most energetic students, and their antics keep her busy and laughing, much like the preschoolers she used to teach, she quips.

When they graduate and return to see her at NIEC, they joke about how she “saved” them during their days in preschool teacher training. “They actually remember things like how I helped a student open a classroom door to retrieve a water bottle, or telling another what to do when she lost her EZ-link card!" she recounts with amusement.

Hui Min has been lecturing for 14 years after graduating with Master’s degrees in applied linguistics and early childhood education, and working at a children’s home and preschools."

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How a viola tamed a temper (16 September 2022)

"Music educator Dawn Chan started a junior orchestra so inclusive, every student gets a fair chance to learn music – and make amends too.

Dawn Chan, Dazhong Primary School, President's Award for Teachers 2022 Recipient

Lush strains of orchestral music fill the air at Dazhong Primary School twice a week. Some days, it may be Beethoven’s 5th Symphony, other days, the Indonesian folk tune Dayung Sampan. Everyone knows that is the Junior Orchestra in session.

The orchestra was set up in 2017 to allow all students to make music, including those from families less likely to afford private music lessons. It was the brainchild of Dawn Chan, Lead Teacher of Music, who got together with a few colleagues one day with an idea that could uplift students from disadvantaged families. To Dawn, music is a great equaliser that can give every student an equal shot at success in life.

She was inspired by El Sistema, a Venezuelan music education initiative founded in 1975 by educator and social activist Jose Antonio Abreu. The classical ensemble programme pulls children from at-risk families and teaches them how to play an instrument. In the process, it rescues them from the streets, equips them with soul-stirring skills, and for some, a renewed focus in life.

Today, there are about 130 students in Dazhong Primary School’s Junior Orchestra, about one-third of whom come from disadvantaged backgrounds."

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He places the student first before the outcome (16 September 2022)

"Nasrun Bin Mizzy always seeks to empower, enrich and enable his students and teachers, and to create better learning experiences for them.

Nasrun Bin Mizzy, Teck Whye Primary School, President's Award for Teachers 2022 Recipient

Of all the inspirational figures in the world, it is the students from challenging backgrounds who motivate Nasrun Bin Mizzy the most.

For those who come from broken homes, don’t have money for recess, or never hear a positive word from their families, Nasrun turns up for work every day at Teck Whye Primary School wanting to be a better teacher because of them.

“Despite all the challenges they face – challenges that would buckle even us as adults – these kids still show up in school, day after day,” says Nasrun, the Head of Department for Physical Education (PE) and Co-curricular Activities (CCA) who has been an educator for 25 years. “They somehow defy the odds to come to school to learn, in spite of what they go through at home. And if they have the resilience to keep going, we will do all we can as a school to support them.”

As he shares about how his students overcome financial hardship and personal challenges, Nasrun could have been talking about himself. When he was eight years old, his father passed away and money became an issue for the family. On some days, Nasrun and his three siblings would be studying by candlelight and waking before dawn to help their mother out at a canteen stall. Meals on most days consisted only of rice, black sauce and some ikan bilis."

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Right mindset, right tools, right results (19 September 2022)

"Putting students at the heart of his teaching, Mathematics educator Lin Shaojie designs innovative lessons with transformative use of technology.

Lin Shaojie, Riverside Secondary School, President's Award for Teachers 2022 Recipient

Inside Riverside Secondary School’s library, an Additional Mathematics lesson was in session. The air was filled with the quiet buzz of conversation as 40 Secondary 3 students worked on some mathematics equations.

Working on their Personal Learning Devices (PLDs), the students moved seamlessly between different applications to extract data, analyse trends, construct theories and develop concepts. Occasionally, teacher feedback popped up virtually, to guide without giving away the answers.

Seated beside some of the students and observing them first-hand were UK experts from the Cambridge University Press and Assessment; the educators were on a learning trip to Singapore, hosted by the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board.

“It was an honour to share how teaching and learning takes place in a one-to-one learning environment, with seamless interactions between my students and me, and their thinking made visible to everyone in the class via technology”, recalls Lin Shaojie, Lead Teacher in Mathematics at the school. He also recalls how happy he was that his lesson on Euclidean geometry went well. The students not only managed to crack the equations in the time given, but they could also explain confidently to the guests their groupwork routines and share their thought processes. “I felt so proud of them,” he says without hesitation."

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Building a formula for confidence and resilience (19 September 2022)

"For Beverly Cheong, Maths lessons teach students problem-solving techniques, but are also opportunities to help them with their problems.

Mdm Beverly Cheong, White Sands Primary School, President's Award for Teachers 2022 Recipient

Years ago, Beverly Cheong received an invitation from a student to attend his polytechnic graduation. He had won a prestigious academic award and nominated her to be one of his guests at the ceremony.

She vaguely remembered his name, and how he had faced some personal struggles in secondary school. For a few years after leaving White Sands Primary, the boy would visit the school every Teachers’ Day. She could not fathom how she earned the honour of the visits or the invitation, but in true Mdm Cheong fashion, attended the polytechnic graduation anyway. No words were exchanged, but the boy’s gratitude rang loud and clear.

“These are the small ways that show me that you never know, as a teacher, what kind of impact you have on your students,” says Beverly, who has been an educator for 32 years. “At the end of the day, I always tell my students: ‘People do not remember you by your PSLE score but by who you are as a person’.”

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She puts the GO! into learning Chinese (19 September 2022)

"When Mother Tongue educator Tay Hui Cheng produced a mobile app game and videos to make Chinese lessons fun, she uncovered tech talents she never thought she had.

Miss Tay Hui Cheng, St Anthony's Canossian Secondary School, President's Award for Teachers 2022 Recipient

The characters borrowed from the world of Chinese mythology are brought to life in an online game produced by educator Tay Hui Cheng to – yes, you guessed right – to help students learn culture and language all in one app.

Hui Cheng, the Head of Department (HOD) for Mother Tongue (MT) at St. Anthony’s Canossian Secondary School, is the brain behind the innovative game titled Chinese GO!, which was designed in 2018 to help students master the Chinese language progressively through gamification.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, she also developed engaging Powtoon video clips for the same purpose – to make Chinese language learning fun for her students away from the classroom. With online learning, she found that she could not teach the way she used to and needed lots of engaging classroom activities to keep lessons interesting. “Every subject was basically fighting for air time and attention from the children, and my recorded Chinese lessons were simply not getting watched,” she shares with disarming honesty.

As HOD, she knew that she needed something radical to grab students’ attention and hook their interest. Since the students were digital natives who had grown up with technology, she wanted to deliver her lessons in the most engaging manner, leveraging the affordances of technology. While this was outside her comfort zone, she realised it had to be done. She had to find the resources and inspire her team to create the content."

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Her nursing students are also inventors (21 September 2022)

"Lecturer Pauline Hu is redefining what it means to be a nurse, constantly challenging her students to generate new ideas – even inventing devices – to solve patient problems.

Pauline Hu Leong Hong, Institute of Technical Education, President's Award for Teachers 2022 Recipient

When nursing is married to technology, a world of possibilities is opened up to solve problems creatively. Think of a mobile app that alerts caregivers when a patient wets his bed or a brace that locks when patients have a violent fit, thus protecting them and their healthcare worker. These products are the brainchild of Pauline Hu, who teaches the Nitec in Nursing course at ITE College East.

Graduating with a degree in computational physics, the former IT consultant switched to nursing before venturing into teaching 10 years ago. Clearly, she doesn’t let labels and convention define her – something she preaches to her students too.

“I want them to think broadly and widely,” says Pauline. She thinks nothing of organising student projects outside of the curriculum that benefit from their nursing expertise. These include generating ideas to solve patient problems, then turning these ideas into real gadgets to be presented at local and international showcases. Along the way, students learn to do market research, create presentations and pitch their ideas confidently. These projects are sought-after and students have to interview for a spot on the team.

If none of this sounds like nursing training to the layman, Pauline intended it to be that way. She sees nurses as problem-solvers, no different from engineers or IT consultants, who should be trained to think out of the box."

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Every classroom a greenhouse (21 September 2022)

"Inspired by the Maker Mindset, Science educator, Huang Kexin, got her hands dirty setting up a vertical garden and remaking the school library to show students they have the power to make things better.

Huang Kexin, Fuhua Secondary School, President's Award For Teachers 2022 Recipient

Huang Kexin’s first brush with teaching was a two-month stint as a relief teacher at a secondary school right after the A-Level examinations.

Despite her inexperience, she found the students responding well to her and received positive feedback from them. She recalled this one conversation she had with the students: “I asked them what their ambition in life was, and they said plainly that they didn’t know what ‘ambition’ meant. They had never heard of the word before.”

The response by the students set her thinking hard about her own purpose and mission in life. She realised then that she would want to help others forge and realise their ambitions. Thus, even though she had already committed herself to pursuing an electrical engineering degree, she decided that upon graduating from the degree course, she would sign up with the Ministry of Education to be a teacher."

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Learn to love, love to learn (27 September 2022)

"Nurturing grateful hearts and soft skills in his students are his focus, says primary school Year Head, Kok Boon Siang, because these qualities are key to thriving when they are adults.

Kok Boon Siang, St Anthony’s Primary School, President's Award For Teachers 2022 Finalist

A conspicuous plastic jar with a red lid sits on a table in Kok Boon Siang’s Primary 1 class. Before lessons begin, he digs into the jar, pulls out pieces of neatly folded paper and faces his students with a broad smile.

It’s a simple daily icebreaker that allows the young children in their first year at school to get to know him better day by day. They pop questions into the red jar – he calls it his Question Bank – with no rules for what they can ask him.

Boon Siang, the Lower Primary Year Head at St Anthony’s Primary School who teaches PE and Health Education, is a big fan of dramatising his lessons. He is an even bigger fan of love."

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Purpose beyond self (27 September 2022)

"To promote the school culture of thinking beyond self, Head of CCE Arivalagan S/O Rajangam didn’t leave things to chance – he devised a six-year Values in Action Workplan to make it happen.

Arivalagan S/O Rajangam, Greenridge Primary School, President's Award For Teachers 2022 Finalist

Every morning, when Arivalagan S/O Rajangam — or Mr Ari as he’s more fondly known — steps into the classroom, his eyes sweep across the room. The moment he crosses his arms in silence, a flurry of activity ensues. It is time for ‘Everyday Responsibilities’. He believes all the students should play their part in keeping their personal space clean before he begins any lesson.

Insisting that his students take ownership of their personal space is only the tip of what Mr Ari does to promote individual accountability and social consciousness among his students. Through his robust efforts to promote Character and Citizenship Education (CCE) at Greenridge Primary School, these young students learn that their small actions can make a difference in the world.

"CCE is about doing the right thing, even when no one is watching,” he says. “Everyone must grow up with strong beliefs and convictions. They must be able to give a voice to the needy and vulnerable and be involved in inclusivity and conservation of their environment."

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‘We will never know how their education journey ends’ (27 September 2022)

"Primary school educator Alan Tan knows he has done the right thing by his students when they come back to visit.

Alan Tan, Anderson Primary School, President's Award For Teachers 2022 Finalist

“What happened to you?” Mathematics educator Alan Tan had asked his former student who had come back to visit him. The teen was acting rude and rebellious, very unlike the boy he had taught in primary school.

Years later, the teen would contact Alan again, this time to share that he had turned the corner, and also had done better than expected at school to secure a place at a polytechnic. He thanked Alan for the time and effort put in during his primary school days, when he felt adrift in a dysfunctional family and had problems with his mother.

“At the primary school level, we will never know how their education journey ends,” says Alan wistfully. Customer feedback can make a difference to how a business improves; Alan gets plenty of feedback from his past students who visit him years later to thank him for what he did right.

Alan has been teaching at Anderson Primary School for 18 years – his first and only posting upon joining the teaching service. Asked what has made his career fulfilling thus far, he says half-jokingly that students don’t run away from him when they see him."

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Different strokes – and equipment – for different folks (30 September 2022)

"Head of Physical Education Liew Wei Sheng strives for inclusion in education, making PE possible for all students, including those with special needs and disabilities.

Liew Wei Sheng, Yuan Ching Secondary School, President's Award for Teachers 2022 Finalist

It was a setback like no other. Joanne was a perfectly healthy girl in her early days of secondary school when she was struck by a rare medical condition. The spinal infection robbed her of the ability to walk, but would not quell her love for PE class, or physical education.

“Even though she was in a wheelchair, she told me she longed to participate in PE lessons in any way she could,” says Liew Wei Sheng, the PE Head of Department at Yuan Ching Secondary School.

The student’s determination to learn how to join in his classes despite her limitations was not only uplifting to Wei Sheng, but also set him on a path to inclusion, ensuring that he develops PE lessons that cater well to all his students, including those with disabilities. The incident gave him greater clarity of purpose, as the educator of 12 years reflects with a chuckle on why he chose to be a teacher: “It was a profession that allowed me to help others and sustain a living at the same time.”

Training on inclusion and paralympic values

Serendipity also came knocking around this time. The Ministry of Education’s Physical Education and Sports Education Academy (PESTA) had released a professional development package on inclusive PE and organised training sessions on the topic of inclusion."

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Bringing out the voice in the quietest student (30 September 2022)

"It may take a boyband or just plain ol’ time and patience, but Dr Chiradip Chatterjee believes all students will open up if teachers appeal to their interests and learning needs.

Chiradip Chatterjee, Republic Polytechnic, President's Award for Teachers 2022 Finalist

Korean boyband BTS, soy-based abalone feed, and equal opportunity for students – what do they have in common? Dr Chiradip Chatterjee, a senior lecturer in pharmaceutical science at Republic Polytechnic.

“If you’re not smiling in class, the learning is not complete,” says the affable educator, summing up what effective lessons mean to him. Calling himself a “true-blue educator and researcher”, he wants to make learning fun and accessible to his students. So he reads their moods and adapts accordingly; it explains why on some days, he might put on pop music during lesson time to switch up the tempo, especially for classes taking place in the afternoons when everyone’s energies are flagging.

“We listen to good music like BTS and we just talk,” he says. “Teenagers get bored easily. I am usually immersed in teaching, but I’d sometimes go with the flow and say, OK, let’s do something new today.”

Other days, he may be explaining antimicrobial resistance to a class on pharmaceutical chemistry and he would choose to test the students’ understanding by asking them to craft their replies not in words but in cartoons. It’s a different way of helping them to process their thoughts, he adds, and, what’s the harm in the class having a few laughs at what goes up on the whiteboard?"

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Prepping for her students’ careers from their classrooms (30 September 2022)

"By maximising her students’ work exposure and mentorship opportunities, pharmaceutical science lecturer Dr Maisha Foo assures them of their choice of courses and career paths.

Dr Maisha Foo, Temasek Polytechnic, President's Award for Teachers 2022 Finalist

When Dr Maisha Foo joined Temasek Polytechnic as a lecturer, she was as fresh as they come, having neither teaching nor work experience.

She had just completed her PhD in pharmacology, which she dived into after obtaining her degree at National University of Singapore. At her first lecture to her pharmaceutical science students, she felt slightly embarrassed at having delivered a “rather mechanical” session, she recalls with a chuckle with a tinge of regret.

Was she daunted? No, because of what she had seen on the students’ faces. What they were looking for was not just information but direction, and she felt inspired to help with that.

“Pharmaceutical science knowledge is translatable to many other allied health careers and even research,” says Maisha, who in her own education journey had nurtured her fascination for chemical compounds, big data, research, and mentoring. Having had a clear sense of self and direction, which led her to her dream job as a pharmaceutical science lecturer, she was ready to encourage the same in her students.

“Students should be aware of all the possibilities and how well different jobs match up to their unique passions.”

That was nearly 10 years ago. Maisha has since been committing herself to providing students with as much signposting and work exposure as she can, so they can make informed career choices. She also networks extensively with industry to introduce more options for projects, internships, job offers and knowledge transfer."

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We are what we eat – and teach (30 September 2022)

"Food and Nutrition lecturer, Dr Tay Mia Eng, has made it her mission in life – and her students’ too – to get the nation eating healthily.

Dr Tay Mia Eng, Nanyang Polytechnic, President's Award for Teachers 2022 Finalist

“Would you prefer to eat food as medicine or to eat medicine as food?”

This is a question that Dr Tay Mia Eng is fond of posing to turn people’s attention to eating well. It is a job hazard, she concurs.

As a senior lecturer in the School of Applied Science at Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP), she has spent the past 13 years espousing the benefits of healthy eating to her students pursuing courses in Food Science & Nutrition.

What is interesting about the nature of her courses is that her students typically come to class with already long-held views about the subject, especially in food-crazy Singapore.

Take for instance, the adolescent love for fast food. Even her own students, who should have a heightened appreciation of good nutrition, are not immune to brushing off its potential ill effects. And do not mistake for a second that foodies make good food science students – unfortunately, no food is consumed as part of learning in the classroom.

All these add to the challenges of Mia Eng’s role, as some of these views may need unlearning and redressing. She takes it all in her stride, as she constantly dreams up new methods to get her students on track and embrace what they learn."

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In his hands, a diagram with mind-changing powers (30 September 2022)

Knowing how to get through lessons and life doesn’t come naturally, so Dunman High School’s Teo Joo Cheong designed a learning model to guide his students’ way.

Teo Joo Cheong, Dunman High School, President's Award for Teachers 2022 Finalist

There is a digital diagram of concentric circles and a checklist that Teo Joo Cheong carries on him all the time that has been coming in handy.

Joo Cheong, the Humanities Head of Department at Dunman High School, has seen its multiple powers of late – to change minds, inspire independence, launch a quest for answers, and even prepare students for the ultimate test – the school of life.

In fact, it is so useful and easy to understand that his school applies it to anything from weak essay-writing to CCA planning.

What is this seemingly magical tool that is deployed whenever students – and even his colleagues -- need a nudge or some clarity of thought?

He calls it the Self-Directed Learning Model (SDLM), launched last year after a year in the making with some colleagues."

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His lifelong-learning recipe: Learn, Apply, Repeat (30 September 2022)

After returning to school as an adult, media lecturer Christian James Sethmohan is a living example to his students on pursuing their dreams and staying abreast of developments in his field.

Christian James Sethmohan, Singapore Polytechnic, President's Award for Teachers 2022 Finalist

Movie magic is often a combination of the fantastical, technology and art. While Christian James Sethmohan wants his students at Singapore Polytechnic to understand the theory behind it, he reminds them that huddling behind a computer isn’t enough to help them master the craft.

“I want my students to be constantly looking for opportunities to apply what they learn in the industry…I don’t spoon-feed them,” says James, who is Specialist (T&L) at Singapore Polytechnic’s Media, Arts and Design School. The media arts being a fast-moving industry, practitioners need to stay abreast of the latest technologies, companies and trends, he stresses. I always tell my students, “Don’t just focus on the theory. Get out there, be connected and keep learning.”

He himself stays connected – online and offline – with companies as far afield as San Francisco to keep up with the latest developments. It was through this kind of dogged sleuthing that led him to introduce cutting-edge projection mapping skills to his students years ago."

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Eight Teachers Receive Top Honours for Dedication and Excellence in Education (1 September 2022)

"Eight outstanding educators received this year's President's Award for Teachers from President Halimah Yacob at the annual Teachers' Day Reception on 1 September 2022."

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Forward Singapore: Singaporeans Invited to Contribute Pledges Towards Shared Education and Lifelong Learning Goals (5 September 2022)

"As part of the Forward Singapore exercise, the Ministry of Education (MOE) invites Singaporeans to share their views, hopes, and pledges on the collective outcomes for education and lifelong learning at the Forward Singapore Equip pillar microsite (https://go.gov.sg/forwardsg-equip). This was launched by Minister for Education Mr Chan Chun Sing today (5 September 2022)."

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Singapore Team Places 1st in International Geography Olympiad (8 September 2022)

"The Ministry of Education (MOE) congratulates all students for their excellent performance in the International Olympiads for Geography, Informatics, Mathematics and the Sciences, and in the International and Online Young Physicists' Tournament, which were held either overseas or virtually from July to August this year."

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Expansion of Singapore Teaching and Academic Research Talent Scheme a Boost for Singapore's Pipeline of Research Talent (14 September 2022)

"The 8th Singapore Teaching and Academic Research Talent Scheme (START) Award Ceremony today marked the addition of the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) and the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) onboard the scheme. They join the other four Autonomous Universities (AUs) on the START initiative, which aims to nurture Singaporean talent for a career in research and academia. The inclusion of SIT and SUSS will enhance our pipeline of academic talent who work closely with the industry on research translations and their applications."

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Raffles Girls' Primary School Emerges as Champions of Cepat Tepat Game Show (16 September 2022)

"Raffles Girls' Primary School has clinched the top spot after correctly answering the most quiz questions on the month-long television game show Cepat Tepat, which challenged contestants on their knowledge of Malay language and culture through quizzes and activities such as Peribahasa (Malay idioms) and traditional games."

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Six Teachers Recognised at Most Inspiring Tamil Teachers Award Ceremony (17 September 2022)

"Six Tamil Language teachers received this year's Most Inspiring Tamil Teachers (MITT) Award in recognition of their outstanding contributions in the teaching and learning of the Tamil Language. In addition to the MITT Award, three other teachers were presented with the Best NIE Tamil Trainee Teacher Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award."

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Close to 380 Students Showcase Language Abilities at First National Chinese Riddle Competition (19 September 2022)

"371 students from 32 secondary schools participated in the National Chinese Riddle Competition (全国中学生灯谜比赛) as they celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival on 10 September 2022. The inaugural competition, jointly organised by the Committee to Promote Chinese Language Learning (CPCLL), Tung Ann District Guild, Riddle Association (Singapore) and Hwa Chong Institution, aims to promote traditional Lantern Riddles and instil a love for Chinese language and culture in students."

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Compilation of Creative Chinese Stories Launched to Promote Reading Among Primary School Students (19 September 2022)

"A new Chinese language reading resource for primary school students was launched by Minister of State for Education and Chairperson of the Committee to Promote Chinese Language Learning (CPCLL) Ms Gan Siow Huang at the awards ceremony for the latest National Children's Story Writing Competition ("创意无限"全国儿童故事创作大赛) on Friday, 16 September 2022."

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More Than 8,600 Student Athletes Recognised for Sporting Achievements at Colours Awards 2022 (23 September 2022)

"A total of 8,647 student athletes across 28 sports received recognition for their sporting achievements and display of good sporting character at the 52nd Singapore Schools Sports Council (SSSC) Colours Awards. Close to 65,000 student athletes returned to the courts and fields to train and compete in this year's National School Games (NSG)."

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New Malay Language Programme Aims to Make Learning Come Alive for Children at the Zoo (29 September 2022)

"The Malay Language Learning and Promotion Committee (MLLPC), in collaboration with the Mandai Wildlife Group, has launched a new pre-school programme, titled Kembara Nusantara, to promote the teaching and learning of the Malay Language through fun-filled activities held at the Singapore Zoo. The programme includes a one-day workshop to guide pre-school teachers to conduct engaging learning journeys and activities and is part of the MLLPC's efforts to make Malay language a living language."

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Why can’t teenagers sleep early? Can parents and schools do more to combat its ill effects? (6 August 2022)

"SINGAPORE — There is a reason why sleep deprivation has been used as a form of psychological torture in the history of humankind, such as in certain military regimes and interrogation tactics.

Prolonged lack of sleep does terrible things to the human body and mind.

Yet, when it happens at home and to school-going children, the alarm is still not sounding loud enough about what it is doing to the young and the resulting health problems and social ills."

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MSF to increase fostering allowance from Sept 1 to better support foster families (13 August 2022)

"SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) said on Saturday (Aug 13) that it will increase the allowance given to foster families from Sept 1 to better support them in caring for foster children.

The monthly allowance will be increased from S$936 to S$1,100 for most foster children, and from S$1,114 to S$1,500 for foster children with special needs.

"The fostering allowance is intended to help foster families defray out-of-pocket costs of caring for a foster child," said MSF in a press statement."

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37,000 teachers, allied educators to get 5-10% pay increase from Oct 1: MOE (16 August 2022)

"SINGAPORE — From Oct 1, more than 37,000 teachers and other educators will get a 5 to 10 per cent increase in their monthly pay, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said on Tuesday (Aug 16).

The move is meant to ensure that their overall salary packages remain competitive, so that the ministry can "continue to attract and retain good educators", it said in a statement.

The increment will be given to around 35,000 education officers, 1,600 allied educators and 800 MOE kindergarten educators."

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NDR 2022: TODAY roundtable — what do Singapore youth think about the issues raised in PM Lee's speech? (22 August 2022)

"On Sunday (Aug 21), TODAY organised an online roundtable with several young Singaporeans aged 35 and below to talk about what they gleaned from this year’s National Day Rally delivered by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

The participants were Mr Barry Yuen, 30, co-owner of the Subway sandwich franchise in Singapore and the country marketing lead of food technology company Tiffinlabs; Mr Yuvan Mohan, 34, a public servant and National Youth Council member; Ms Esther David, 26, founder of tuition centre The Spark of Creation; Ms Jayasutha Samuthiran, 31, global brand manager at distillery Glenfiddich William Grant & Sons; Ms Nabillah Jalal, 30, founder of music school NJ Studio and council member on the People’s Association Youth Network."

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Amid rising costs, MOE increases subsidies for students under financial assistance scheme from Jan 1, 2023 (24 August 2022)

"SINGAPORE — Transport and meal subsidies for primary and secondary students under the Ministry of Education (MOE) financial assistance scheme and bursaries for pre-university students will be increased from Jan 1, 2023, amid rising cost pressures.

In a statement on Wednesday (Aug 24), MOE said that around 44,000 students will benefit from the enhanced subsidies.

The MOE financial assistance scheme fully covers the cost of school and standard miscellaneous fees, textbooks and school uniforms, as well as provides meal and transport subsidies for students from lower income households."

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EtonHouse to raise preschool teachers' pay, several other private operators to conduct review (25 August 2022)

"SINGAPORE — Private preschool chain EtonHouse International Education Group said it was already planning to increase the salaries of its teachers when the Ministry of Education (MOE) announced this month that its teachers' pay would rise from Oct 1. Other private preschool chains said they will be reviewing teachers' salaries.

For their part, several preschool teachers at private preschools told TODAY that they hope MOE's move will "nudge" their employers to raise their salaries as well. Some said they would consider moving to an MOE kindergarten to get more pay.

And with higher salaries in the offing, which would add to operating costs, two firms suggested that fee hikes at their private preschools were "inevitable" down the track."

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Disciplining students becoming a trickier issue with lack of parental support, teachers say (31 August 2022)

"SINGAPORE — A discipline teacher in a secondary school recalled her horror when some students showed her vulgar stickers on WhatsApp that had been made using another teacher’s photographs and circulated within unofficial student WhatsApp chat groups.

Even though she had heard that such stickers could be made using people's photos, she had always thought of them as innocuous.

“I had no idea that these tools can be used to depict people in obscene clothing and making offensive gestures,” the teacher said. She wanted to be known only as Ms Maria. Like other teachers that TODAY spoke to, she did not want to give her real name as she is not authorised to speak to the media."

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The Big Read: What can make our teachers happier and less overworked? Here's looking at you, parents (3 September 2022)

"SINGAPORE — Every week, Sandra (not her real name) lugs a small-sized suitcase from her workplace back home. She’s neither a flight attendant nor a fashion designer — but a teacher bringing back her students’ papers for the weekend.

“We joke that we’re like air stewardesses, bringing our luggage back home after a long flight,” said the primary school mother tongue teacher.

“Because there’s so much to do in school that isn’t part of the classroom curriculum that my students’ homework has to be marked on the weekend. It’s easier to lug their exercise books than hand carry since there's up to 120 books.”

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#trending: MOE therapy chatbot for stressed teachers labelled unhelpful by some (6 September 2022)

"SINGAPORE — A chatbot for teachers on mental well-being portal, Mindline.sg, recently drew flak for being unhelpful — even aggravating — to the users who seek mental health support on it.

The online therapy chatbot is part of a new online portal, Mindline at Work for MOE, which provides mental health resources for teachers who are dealing with issues such as burnout and overwhelming workload.

The portal was set up by the Ministry of Education (MOE), together with the Ministry of Health Office for Healthcare Transformation (MOHT)."

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POV: Want to help teachers? A big part lies in not outsourcing parenting work to them (8 September 2022)

"To be a teacher these days, you need to do more than just teach.

Teachers also act as administrative staff, IT personnel, counsellors, co-curricular activity (CCA) leaders, and event organisers, to name a few.

This means weekends often seem more like weekdays to some teachers, who have to sacrifice personal time to catch up with work."

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PCF to add 2,500 preschool places in high-demand areas by end-2023, set up more senior care centres (11 September 2022)

"SINGAPORE — The PAP Community Foundation (PCF) will add close to 2,500 preschool places by the end of next year, as part of plans to boost its preschool and senior care services in the coming years.

PCF also intends to set up more senior care centres over the next five years, with its eighth PCF Sparkle Care Centre at Bukit Panjang slated to open in 2024 or 2025.

This was announced at PCF’s annual Family Day on Sunday (Sept 11) at the Singapore Zoo. The event was held for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic struck in 2020, with Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Lawrence Wong attending as a guest-of-honour."

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‘Difficult’ parents who expect too much of teachers may deprive children of ability to be resilient: Chan Chun Sing (12 September 2022)

"SINGAPORE — Parents who expect too much of teachers may end up depriving their children of the ability to be resilient and overcome uncertainties and difficulties, Education Minister Chan Chun Sing said in Parliament on Monday (Sept 12).

Parents and teachers must have a shared set of expectations on what the role of the teacher should be, so as to create a school environment where children can grow up to be independent, resilient and creative, he said.

He was responding to a question posed by Mr Seah Kian Peng, the Member of Parliament (MP) of Marine Parade Group Representation Constituency, on whether the Ministry of Education (MOE) could draw clear boundaries on the matters that parents can or cannot involve teachers in."

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Preschool educators' salaries under review to make them more competitive; changes from 2023: MSF (13 September 2022)

"SINGAPORE — An ongoing salary review for early education educators is expected to wrap up in the fourth quarter of this year, with changes implemented next year onwards.

Speaking in response to a parliamentary question on Tuesday (Sept 13) on the duration of the review and its scope, Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for Social and Family Development, said that the review aims to strike a balance between paying educators for their contributions and skills and being competitive enough to attract and retain talent in the sector.

In August, the Ministry of Education (MOE) announced a 5 to 10 per cent increase in salary for 37,000 teachers and other educators."

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Former teacher admits sending 'death threat' poem to principal and others over student’s death (19 September 2022)

"SINGAPORE — After a recent fatal incident killed a student from his school, a former teacher of the school wrote an enigmatic poem to the principal, who believed that the poem may be a "death threat".

The former teacher, Lee Lit Meing, also made an anonymous call using a public phone and accused the principal of being a murderer.

Besides these, Lee sent 19 other anonymous letters with the same poem addressed to the school’s deputy principals, the human resource manager, a secretary, deans and directors. He sent them as well to principals from three other schools and a church elder."

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The Stories Behind: Father posts autistic son's activities on TikTok — unembellished — and gets 'likes' and love in return (2 October 2022)

"SINGAPORE — Seeing the artwork and calligraphy plastered on the kitchen walls of Mr Bob Lee Keng Siang's home, it reaffirmed what I saw on his social media pages — a father who is deeply proud of his 15-year-old son Jun Le.

After all, his Instagram and TikTok accounts are awash with videos showing Mr Lee gleefully celebrating achievements by Jun Le — who is diagnosed with autism — that some might regard as trivial.

But as I chatted with the 46-year-old photography business owner, I learnt that it was not always this way."

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