She’s been in service at PCF Sparkletots @ Punggol North Blk 174D for 15 years — and counting. She is a versatile teacher who double-hats to teach the Malay Language and English Language classes. And she has taught children from Nursery 2 till Kindergarten 2 levels.

Yet for Mdm Mas Idah, each day at the preschool is no less fun and enriching. The 44-year old, who has received the Outstanding Mother Tongue Language Teacher Award 2018 in the merit category so far, says keeping things fresh is a matter of perspective.

How do you find joy at work on a daily basis?

“Many little things make me smile; for example, when the children respond to me with enthusiasm. Class dynamics are never the same;

kids will say anything under the sun! As educators, we develop these responses into topics of discussion and learning opportunities. There are times when I get hugs from the children or they will ask me how I am. These actions warm my heart, especially when I am exhausted.”

What enhances communication, culture and connection?

“Lessons that are as fun and engaging as possible! I firmly believe in providing authentic experiences for the children, while being mindful of their diverse learning levels and potential.

I prepare task cards and activities catering to different abilities, allowing children to develop at their own pace.” 

How is learning reinforced beyond the classroom?

“I plan activities, sourcing for field trip venues or suggesting relevant outdoor activities that match well with the themes taught in school.

For example, to teach the kids about insects, I arranged for a trip to the Butterfly Park and Insect Kingdom in Sentosa. Despite logistical challenges such as manpower resources and the children’s safety, such trips are a great opportunity to experience learning outside the classroom.”

What’s your secret to loving what you do?

“By seeing each day as a chance to further a learning journey that never stops. I have the support of my principal and colleagues, who share best practices. We always strive to give the best to the children, and we have ample opportunities to attend courses and workshops to upgrade our skills and teaching methods.”