6 Selfless Ways Teachers Defied The Odds For Students In Singapore

8 Teachers Honoured With President’s Award 2018

Teachers have had a tough past year, what with the parking fee fiasco and all.

But none of that could get in the way of their commitment and dedication to their students.


President Halimah Yacob honoured 15 of these outstanding educators at a ceremony at the Istana on Wednesday (29 August).

These 8 teachers received the President’s Award for Teachers 2018.

They are:

  • Ms Goh Wai Leng, Geylang Methodist School (Primary)
  • Mdm S Nirmala Devi, Guangyang Primary School
  • Mr Matthew Ong Yong Cheng, St Andrew’s Junior School
  • Ms Ng Sheh Feng, Ahmad Ibrahim Secondary School
  • Mr Edzra Bin Iskandar, Bedok South Secondary School
  • Dr Lim Yi-En, National Junior College
  • Mr George Teo Keng Ann, Singapore Polytechnic
  • Ms Tan Lay Khee, Temasek Polytechnic

1. MasterChef classes

Teachers this year were commended for going the extra mile to make learning engaging for students.

From leveraging on the popularity of reality show MasterChef to liven up lessons, to assisting those who were left behind — here are some of the incredible lengths these teachers went to for their students.

2. Saving the English language

Primary 6 pupils at St Andrew’s Junior definitely enjoy English lessons with Mr Ong, thanks to his ingenious games, including ‘The Revenge of the LetterPillar‘, a weekly episodic immersive experience.

The game invovled his students role-playing as ‘word detectives’ who had to fend off baddies LetterPillar and his two minions, Dr Verbose and Sentence Sasquatch. They had to work as a team to prevent villains from wrecking havoc on  English words and sentence structures.

To earn ‘letter dollars’, students had to guess missing letters to form words, and get help from poets by reciting poems.

Mr Ong’s next endeavour will be to turn this game into an online version, so other teachers can use it too.

3. Science & morality

Science is widely considered a rather impersonal subject, but Madam Nirmala found another way to inculcate values during her lessons.

Guangyang Primary students in her class would typically spend the last 5-10 minutes of her lessons “linking concepts to values”.

Similar to how a plumb line helps students find an object’s centre of gravity, Madam Nirmala would ask her students to share which of their family members helped keep them morally “upright”.

She believes that talking about feelings helps students ingrain the concepts better, adding,

I don’t believe in preparing them just for exams.

4. Pharmaceutical role-play

Over at Temasek Poly, Ms Tan facilitates role-playing as patients to improve her students’ communication skills during Pharmacy modules.

Members of her classes would then have to “dissect their own performances”, to better understand how to improve.

She also highlights the importance of maintaining eye contact, reading body language, and avoiding the use of jargon when dealing with patients.

5. Strictly business, fun & games

A Business Innovation & Design lecturer at Singapore Polytechnic has a penchant for switching up things during tutorials.

His students typically participate in a game show, which involves mystery envelopes and an exciting race to answer questions.

Mr Teo, who has corporate experience, now “enjoy(s) the laughter and energy in class” during his not-so-typical lessons.

Apparently, his teaching journey has made him “more patient”, and allowed him to “see things from different perspectives” as he learns from his students.

6. Visually-impaired students take O-Level music for the first time

This particular music teacher brought lunch time concerts to her students, and helped 2 visually-impaired students take the O-Level music exam for the first time.

Ms Ng Sheh Feng, who hails from Ahmad Ibrahim Secondary, faced rejection from the authorities as the exam included score-reading and notation writing.

Undeterred, she recommended using music braille and dictation to assess them instead. Within a year and a half, MOE allowed her students to take the exam.

Encouraging inclusiveness in music being her primary aim, she gains satisfaction by seeing her former students take on careers in the music industry.

Kudos to our teachers

We at MustShareNews would like to wish all our teachers – both past and present – a well-deserved break this Teachers’ Day.

For the multiple roles you play as our educators and your selfless sacrifices, thank you for helping to mould the next generation — no matter how challenging the task.

Featured image from Ministry of Education on Facebook.

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