Teacher With A Heart In Singapore?
Updated: Jul 30, 2019
Updated: Jan 30
The journey of an educator is commonly said to be a fulfilling one. Less talked about, though, is the reflection of the ups and downs of this journey. Having been a teacher for 14 years, I have learned invaluable lessons from teachers and students alike—the most important one being the key to teaching: Heart.
Back in my university days, I was part of NTU’s Welfare Service Club. It was then that I first experienced teaching as part of a volunteering program to tutor underprivileged students. Although it was never my childhood dream job, something about the fulfillment of helping students struck me hard. It took a few years post-graduation for me to navigate through career crossroads before I returned to teaching as a MOE teacher. By then, my love for teaching had solidified.
The next switch to becoming a full-time private tutor, though, was a turning point in my life. With the increased working hours and paycheck, I got distracted. I chose my students according to the fees they could offer. My passion for helping and inspiring students dimmed and I slowly realised: Teaching had become just a job. I was driven by the money I wanted to make. Slowly, I felt like I had lost my heart for what I loved.
In 2014, I had the opportunity to volunteer in China to build schools and conduct classes for children living in poor rural villages. There was no income to be sought; no prizes to be won. Just the raw act of teaching as a means of empowerment made me realise that the heart of an educator lies in our care for students. The joy I felt nurturing the young ones and seeing their smiles as they learn—it simply cannot be exchanged for any amount of money.
Hence, I started Learning Smart with the goal of gathering like-minded teachers. Educators who have a greater purpose; educators who see teaching for what it is, and not what it can bring for them. In Learning Smart, we maintain that our tutors always have our students’ best interests at heart. We want to inspire our students to be confident and motivated. Most importantly, we want to preserve the heart of teaching.
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