What is your background and education?
My name is Joy and I am currently principal of Lorna Whiston Preschool at Raintree Cove, which will move to Kallang Wave Mall in January 2017! I am so excited and looking forward to the brand new preschool. I currently hold a BSc in Early Childhood Education and Leadership from Wheelock College.
What made you want to take up your current role as principal of Lorna Whiston Preschool?
I am proud of my school and how it delivers its lessons to the children in a fun and enriching manner. From my years of teaching in Lorna Whiston as an English teacher since 2009, I have witnessed the wonderful growth of the children who start with us from the age of 18 months to 6 years old. Upon graduation, the children become confident and fluent speakers of both languages. They are also well prepared to take on the rigours of primary school. It gives me great job satisfaction to have played a part in helping them learn and witnessing their growth through the years.
What do you love about working at Lorna Whiston Schools in particular?
I enjoy being here because of my wonderful colleagues and the opportunities the school provides for us to work together for events big and small. It really does build up a wonderful team spirit. I think that aside from working with children, having a close-knit group of colleagues who are all for the same cause keeps me firmly rooted in LWPS.
What is your take on ‘play-based learning’?
I believe in the value of play-based learning but I also do believe that we have to take into consideration the context. Being in Singapore, many of our children do have to go into the local Primary schools and so, it is our job to prepare them for it! We pride ourselves in being able to do so in a meaningful and stress-free environment. Let’s work hard and play hard, teachers and students alike!
What is your favourite game or activity to do with the students?
Honestly, I love any kind of games with the children but what I really do love is the one-to-one interaction that I have with my students. It could be a short little chat that I have with them in the mornings when they step into school bleary-eyed, or it could be them sharing with me snippets of their thoughts on a random activity or event. These little moments make up the best memories.
What is one fun fact about you?
I think what makes me endearing to kids and an instant hit is my height. I am really petite and when I sit down in class, I blend in well with the children!
What is a word of advice you will give to parents?
Don’t sweat the small stuff! Looking at where I am now, I think I didn’t do too badly in life. My little advice for parents – even if your child doesn’t get into the primary school of your choice or if he/she didn’t get the marks you expected – don’t overreact! If you instill in them the right values in life, they will get there. Just maybe not on the same path as you imagined them to take. But remember, they are their own person.
Why did you become a teacher and why did you choose to do so in Lorna Whiston?
Growing up, I was pretty much a neighbourhood kid. I come from an average income family and studied in neighbourhood schools. What I am really grateful for, and perhaps the reason why I’m in the teaching line now, was how my mom instilled in me a love for reading. She used to bring me to the public library every weekend without fail. It was a small nondescript library tucked away underneath an HDB flat but it was my gateway to the world.
My mom doesn’t speak English and so, she probably saw the library as a cheap and effective way of providing me exposure to the language. She is a wise mom because I became quite the bookworm. So much so that my sister once complained to my mom how her little sister was dreadfully un-cool and boring because she didn’t know a thing about pop culture. It was rather true! All I was interested in was the whimsical fairy tales of Enid Blyton, the wildly exciting and intriguing creatures of Roald Dahl and the amazingly zany world of Dr. Seuss. Stories and books take me to places and allow me to ‘travel’ even though I am physically still at the same spot.
Because of my mom, I strongly believe in the value of reading and I’ve made it my career to instil the same love for reading in our children. I chose Lorna Whiston because I share their strong belief in developing lifelong learners with a fierce passion for reading.