A POSITIVE pre-school experience can have a significant impact on a child’s learning ability, says Ms Narayanasamy Pushpavalli, 64, principal of the Ramakrishna Mission Sarada Kindergarten.

She feels that while teaching is one of the key responsibilities of early childhood educators (ECEs), the other roles they play to young children — such as a friend, guide and counsellor — also help to develop their minds and dispositions.

Calling the innovative methods ECEs use to enable children to learn and develop “game-changers”, she points to how they also help their young charges to self-regulate their behaviour and emotions.

Ms Pushpavalli says: “It goes beyond discipline. Such methods teach children to be socially competent, good team players and self-directed learners. This cannot be taught in a lesson, but can be nurtured by a skilful teacher through innovative practices.”

Empowering others

As an Early Childhood and Development Agency (ECDA) Fellow, Ms Pushpavalli often works with other leaders within the ECE fraternity to coach and mentor educators.

Her work has highlighted the fact that, even as seniors and leaders, ECEs never stop being teachers.

They empower other educators and lead them forward, which helps their mentees to develop innovative practices, engage children and their families meaningfully, and upgrade their teaching and learning processes.

She says: “When there is openness in sharing and learning, the ECE field will improve in quality — which ultimately benefits children, families and society.”

Thank you teachers for your untiring efforts and dedication. Continue to build relationships with children, families and peers. We value you.
- Ms Narayanasamy Pushpavalli