Good morning faculty members of the DAS Academy, honoured guests, colleagues and fellow graduates.
I thank the organising committee for giving me the opportunity to speak here.
The Emcee has outlined the key events that led me to apply for a job in DAS last year. As you can see, I have less than 1 year of working experience in DAS, I am not as qualified as most of you in this hall, but allow me to share 3 important points with you today:
- Firstly, I come from a Chinese-speaking family ( I am very grateful to my parents for this!) but I studied in mainstream primary and secondary schools. During my University days, I took Chinese in my first year as a core subject as I enjoy studying the language. However, due to my inability to see the goodness in taking on the subject, I dropped it and took economics and statistics instead as I was not ready to memory Chinese history and literature. . It was only in my early 30s when I started my own family, I discovered the buried treasure of parenting resources in Chinese history and culture, through my benevolent teacher, Professor Fok (from?). Hence, with this background, I braved myself to apply for a teaching position at DAS, One of my interviewers told me that it would be a steep learning curve as I have neither a formal teaching background nor a degree related to Chinese. Thankful for their trust in me and as well as a very supportive husband, I am now standing here as a valedictorian.
- Secondly, Something that I believe in: One thing that is constant in Life is that: Every individual always wants to do our best每个人都想要做好自己. This applies to our students as well. They may appear passive or sometimes uncooperative in learning, but they are still doing the best of their ability. It is up to us, as educators to help them allay their fears, and rebuild their self-confidence. This resonates with my learning under my Professor Fok, for the past 20 years. He thinks that the world would be a better place, as long as we start to change for the better Mencius (孟子)has a saying: The foundation of a country is the family 国之本在家, the foundation of a family is the individual member (家之本在身). My professor further expanded to The foundation of an individual member is his heart/soul (身之本在心), and the foundation of his heart/soul is being honest to oneself (心之本在诚). Being honest to oneself is not an easy feat, it requires us to constantly reflect on ourselves in our work and family relationships, knowing what our weaknesses are and our pitfalls in life. And more importantly, we should always reflect on what else we can do better WITHOUT expecting the other party or a policy to change. Definitely not to be a keyboard warrior on social media, complaining etc, expecting the world to change for the better.
Hence this motto guides me in being steadfast in my teaching work. Once we know ALL students want to do their best, we just have to be that constant factor, LOVE and embrace their differences. We may not tinkle or stir their heart in this lesson, but we strive to do in the next.
- This brings me to my final Every DAS educator I interact with is the CONSTANT factor in their classes! Though I do not get much opportunity to interact with my colleagues, I would like to express my deep admiration and respect to my mentors in the Chinese department and comrades in the DAS Sengkang centre.
The Chinese department pioneers have worked with their bare hands (and many sleepless nights), using the limited resources that are available both locally and internationally, ensuring a strong foundation and system for newbies like us. I am grateful for their dedication and passion for teaching, as well as for looking after the Edts Educational Therapists’ concerns and training needs. Thank you very much!
At SKG centre, in particular, those who are full-timers, I think your heart says it all, the immense dedication to help every child who struggles in mainstream education. This is evident from my colleagues who always share passionately about different students and their learning difficulties. We, DAS educators are a bunch of heart menders, mending the dented pride in learning. Not forgetting our Admin team who has also ridden this mega roller-coaster ride of changes when Covid struck us in the last 2-3 years to ensure DAS students could continue learning with minimal administrative disruption. Please allow me to salute the team’s heartfelt efforts to the DAS students.
Congratulations to the class of 2022 and wishing all a fulfilling journey in DAS together as a family!