When Ms Tan Chiew Hoon, 29, first joined PCF Sparkletots @ Pioneer Blk 654B in 2011, she was not a qualified early childhood teacher yet.

At that time, she only had a bachelor’s degree in Chinese language — and a natural affinity with young children. But her passion to teach Chinese to children and help them reach their full potential gave the preschool’s centre principals confidence to groom her to be an outstanding teacher.  

With their support, Ms Tan pursued and attained a Diploma in Early Childhood Care and Education (Chinese) from SEED Institute in 2015. After continued guidance and opportunities to put into practice what she has learnt, she has also become more attuned and confident with teaching children in ways best suited to their learning disposition. Ms Tan was promoted to lead teacher in April this year.

What is the most fulfilling part of your job?

“Seeing the children’s happy faces at school in the morning brings me joy and fulfilment. Their excitement brings me assurance that what we do benefits them.  

Even though we couldn’t meet the children during the home-based learning period, we found ways to be involved in their learning and keep them excited through the Educational Toolkits and pre-recorded videos that we shared with their parents.”

What have you learnt about improving a child’s learning experience?

“I’ve learnt that we must look at learning from a child’s viewpoint to teach purposefully and effectively.

Teaching must be interesting and meaningful to capture the children’s attention. They should be able to relate with what they are learning and apply it in their lives.

For example, children from non-Mandarin speaking families may find it difficult to use the Chinese words that they have learnt in their daily lives. One simple way we overcome this is by teaching Chinese through a cookery lesson. The children can easily share with their parents when they apply the words they have learnt to the food and things they see at home.”