LEAD teacher Alicia Tang believes in using creative strategies to teach children.
With 18 years of experience teaching pre-school children, the 50-year-old now plans and implements the curriculum and mentors novice teachers at PCF Sparkletots @ Punggol North.
She says: “In the daily curriculum, I include gross motor activities, art and craft, music and movement depending on the learning styles of the children.”
For instance, while the younger children use wooden spoons to scoop pom-poms, the older ones use a pair of chopsticks instead.
“I follow the multi-sensory approach known as ‘Many Ways of Seeing’ by Professor Masayo and Sandy Blandin, whose research has shown that children learn best using their five senses,” she says.
Ms Tang also creates special themes and designs educational corners in the classroom to teach interesting life skills. Last year, the centre established a “Go Green” theme, and the children used compost heap to fertilise plants during the lessons.
In 2013 and 2014 respectively, Ms Tang received PCF’s support to go to Korea and Japan, where she was given the opportunity to learn from educators there.
In Korea, she learned the importance of teaching cultural diversity. When she came back, she set up a cultural corner in the classroom where children could learn about customs in Singapore, such as Chinese calligraphy and Malay weaving.
Her takeaway from her Japan trip was that schools can collaborate with the elderly by tapping on their expertise in areas such as gardening and cultural traditions.
Ms Tang obtained a diploma in Early Childhood Care and Education (Teaching) in 2004 with the support of PCF, where she clinched the Best Academic Performance Award. She is currently pursuing a degree in early childhood education.
Her rich experience with implementing creative ways to learn has led her to take up leadership roles in designing activities and classroom settings at PCF centres. She also conducts training for other teachers on the “Many Ways of Seeing” method.