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Q&A with Xaviera Lim, Cluster Principal of Kiddiwinkie Schoolhouse

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What is your background and training?

I hold a Diploma in Graphic Design and was in Visual Merchandising followed by Marketing and Communications.

In 2001, I chanced upon a part-time teaching job. Having prior experience as a private tutor and a dance instructor for kids, I knew I had a passion for teaching, and that I was good at it. I clinched the job and the rest is history!

I went on to fulfil the industry’s requirement which includes Diploma in Teaching, Diploma in Leadership and following that, I proceeded to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood (Hons).

What made you become a teacher?

Teaching is instinctive to me. I made the call to teach for good because I like knowing that I made a little difference in a child’s life. I cannot help but swell with pride when the children proudly tell their parents what they have learnt in school.

Even more so, I revel in how much I can learn from the kids – they never fail to surprise me with their insightful observations, and that makes me look at the world differently as well.

What do you love about working at Kiddiewinkie in particular? 

As Cluster Principal, I manage the six Kidddiwinkie centres, where I get to interact with the different teachers and principals from the centres. Each school has its own uniqueness, and I like working with the various staff members to create those magical learning moments in class for our children.

Organising events that involve the children from all levels (Playgroup to Kindergarten 2) is also one of the highlights of my job scope.

We love bringing the world to our children, and our International Cultural and Cuisine Day does just that. To see the delight and excitement on our children’s faces as they come together to celebrate a festival, don a cultural costume or tuck into the food from France, Thailand, or Japan really warms my heart.

What is your take on play based learning? 

There are many facets of play-based learning, such as motor play and experiential play. At Kiddiwinkie, children are given the freedom to direct their own play, which is uninterrupted and exploratory.

This practice allows them to explore, identify, negotiate, take risks and create meaning with intellectual and cognitive outcomes.

However, the educator plays an important role in facilitating the play. She must know how to implement and assess the play, in order for the children to fully benefit from the activity.

What is one favourite game or activity you like to do with students?

Bringing the children out on outings or excursions is a nice change from the usual classroom setting.

Outdoor spaces are like mobile classrooms, where there is interactive, hands-on learning, which brings a different perspective on learning about the world really works.

It’s refreshing to see the look of wonder and excitement on our children’s faces as they get up close and personal with the plants and animals at the Flower Dome or Singapore Zoo.

Can you tell us one fun fact about yourself?

I would secretly like to design a fashion line, and organise my own fashion show for kids. Perhaps one day in the (not – so) distant future!

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