FORMER flight attendant Farzianah Begum Md Zabir quit her airline job and joined Safari House Preschool as a language teacher after she realised she enjoyed working with children.


The 30-year-old senior teacher is now a mother to a four-year-old, and is known affectionately as “Teacher Nana” to her students.


Beyond the basics

Contrary to what many people believe, early childhood education is more than just telling stories or teaching kids the alphabet, she says.   


“I have to consider the holistic development of each child. It is about catering to children’s emotional needs, nurturing their curiosity about the world around them, as well as developing their social and emotional skills,” she explains.


Ms Farzianah gets a sense of satisfaction whenever the children under her care make progress in their learning.


She once had a new Japanese student who did not understand a word of English. She persisted in speaking to him in English even though he did not respond. After a few months, he finally uttered his first complete sentence in English.


“I literally shouted for joy. Towards the end of the year, the boy could read as fluently as his peers,” she recalls.


The most challenging aspect of her job is keeping up with the various demands and expectations of parents.


“Being able to have a positive impact on the children’s learning journey has motivated me all these years in this teaching industry,” she says.

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