Before my current posting, I had the chance to spend time at various other parts of the Ministry of Education.
schoolsJanuary - March 2019: Hwa Chong Institution (High School)
As part of my PGDE, I did my Practicum at the High School section of Hwa Chong Institution, teaching Secondary 1 English Language and Literature (ELL) and Secondary 4 Biology under the school's Integrated Programme. This was a wonderful experience for me: I had the chance to return to my alma mater and teach under my former teachers who were now my mentors, and it was extremely meaningful.
Working with Secondary 1 students (1A3 and 1P3) was a refreshing experience: I had the privilege of starting them off on the Hwa Chong experience as their teacher, and I enjoyed the latitude and freedom I got to design lessons with a Language Arts curriculum (blending language and literature together). I also had the chance to teach Biology to the Secondary 4 students (4A1), doing practicals such as sheep liver dissections, and cow's eye dissections, in addition to theory lessons. The range of learner ages was a challenge, but I eventually learnt how to switch approaches while walking between classes!
June - August 2018: Pioneer Primary School
I spent part of my semester break during the PGDE in NIE interning at Pioneer Primary School in Jurong West. As a secondary school teacher (by training), I wanted to understand the primary school system and the teaching and learning conditions, in hope that I could better bridge the gap for the students when they come to secondary school.
As part of my stint, I worked with Primary 5 classes taking Standard subjects, though I had the opportunity to work with the full range: the high-progress, mid-progress, and low-progress classes. I also had the chance to visit classes ranging from Primary 2 to Primary 5, observing the change in approaches and styles. Some of the highlights of my time here were taking the Primary 5 students to the National Education Preview for the National Day Parade, and helping to run the National Physical Fitness Awards (NAPFA) test for the Primary 5s.
July - December 2017: Christ Church Secondary School
I was posted to Christ Church Secondary School for my Untrained Teaching stint, just after returning home from my graduate studies while waiting for the NIE PGDE to begin. This was a very defining time in my journey as an educator: it was the first time I was given teaching responsibilities, including a form class (Secondary 3E3) and a CCA (badminton). (I eventually returned to Christ Church while in NIE for the Teaching Assistantship practicum).
The experience was extremely enjoyable: I had the opoortunity to work with a graduating batch of Secondary 5s preparing for their GCE O-Level examinations, as well as my own Secondary 3 form class, teaching English Language to both. I also worked with a Secondary 3 Normal (Technical) class for Science, an experience I treasure till today. For their Secondary 4 Prepatory Programme, I was given the chance to work with a Secondary 3 Normal Academic class for English Language, and I had the latitude to design my materials and implement them all by myself (and the sudden change of circumstances did warrant it).
CCA-wise, I had a great time with the Badminton team, working with the team captains to plan and motivate their team, as well as helping to lead physical conditioning sessions under the main teacher-in-charge (a PE teacher). It was extremely satisfying to see the team in competition in January 2018 at the zonal level, where they really came together as one to fight for common goals.
August 2013: Beatty Secondary School
I was posted here for my School Attachment Programme, compulsory for all MOE scholarship holders. Here, I had the chance to work with a Secondary 3 Biology class, as well as cut my teeth (very memorably) planning a lesson (that eventually went dismally) with my Secondary 1 Normal (Technical) class. The latter was especially memorable because my mentor was supportive, but she intentionally let it fail within a safe space before debriefing me, and the lessons I drew from that experience are ones that I still remember.
headquartersJune - September 2015: Standards and Research Branch, Academy of Singapore Teachers
During my final long semester break as an undergraduate, I interned with the Standards and Research Branch (SRB) of the Academy of Singapore Teachers (AST). AST functions as the main professional development body within MOE, and I had the opportunity to hone competencies in educational research and teaching (through workshops conducted by Master Teachers and Principal Master Teachers). Working under the guidance of a Senior Specialist, I was able to gain insight into the work done by specialists in the education system, and the importance of continual professional development activities beyond initial teacher training.