Find out why Lynn White loves teaching at GEMS World Academy Singapore!
Teacher: Lynn White
Teaches: Early Years (K1)
Want to know what makes GEMS World Academy Singapore (GWA) special? It’s the teachers! To find out more about how they make school magical for little ones (and why they love teaching at GWA), we spoke with Early Years teacher Lynn White, who originally hails from Scotland.
What/Who inspired you to want to be a teacher?
I was inspired by several great teachers who had a positive impact on my attitude towards learning at different points in my school life. I think that’s probably a common theme for most people who enter the profession. During my Primary Years the teachers I remember most are the ones who made learning fun and exciting. In Secondary school, it was teachers who made learning relevant by making connections to the real word. I remember the teachers who genuinely made me feel like they cared about me and wanted me to achieve.
What’s your favourite travel break?
That’s a tough question! As a family we have had some great travel experiences living in Southeast Asia. I think Bali and Thailand are still probably my favourites. It’s great to be able to just relax and have some quality time together. Great beaches, food and shopping! As my children are getting a bit older I’m looking forward to exploring other places in the region like Vietnam and Cambodia.
How would you describe your teaching style?
I’m an Early Years teacher so my teaching style is that of a facilitator. I’m there to support and guide the children in making sense of the world around them. We follow an inquiry-based approach at GEMS World Academy (Singapore), where we encourage children to explore, question, experiment and wonder. I encourage the children to play an active role in their learning. Building positive relationships is also part of my teaching style. I treat the children as the confident capable learners that they are and I listen carefully to them. There is an atmosphere of trust and care in our classroom and that’s really important to me.
How is your classroom decorated?
My classroom environment reflects the most important people in it — the children! It reflects their thinking, their comments and their creativity. The children and I create the classroom environment together based on their ideas and interests.
At the moment there is an airport and an airplane in my classroom because that’s what the children felt we should create to find out more about our current PYP Unit of Inquiry. This role play will be important in helping them to discover all the planning and preparation that is needed as part of a journey. The children asked for it, they researched it and they built it, because they will be the ones to use it.
Can you name one amazing memory from your time as a teacher?
There are many amazing memories, that’s what makes this job so special. For me it’s those ‘lightbulb moments’ when something finally clicks for a child, when a ‘can’t’ becomes a ‘can’. For me that has been a Grade One child who reads a full book when she couldn’t read a page. It’s also been the Kindergarten child who wouldn’t speak in front of a small group but by the end of the year performs on stage. Those are the best memories by far.
Best advice to people who want to get into teaching?
Make sure you are truly passionate about it! Try to get some experience, whether it’s volunteering in a local school or a work placement if you are a secondary school student contemplating this as your career.