How do people learn?

After a century of theories about how hard it is to learn to read, a new generation of phone-messaging teenagers have invented new literacies without a theory of differential learning in sight. If we can save the word learning for events like this, we might have something to work with and work for. – McDermott, […]

Do students think?

That is a question I ask myself a lot during my time as an adjunct faculty member of a local university, As much as I enjoyed interacting with young minds, I found it exceptionally difficult to get students to think, in particular to think beyond the immediate and the obvious. There would be times when […]

What do grades mean? 

My time as a full-time student brought the worst set of results I have ever received over the past few years, and the irony of the situation was not lost on me, even as I was feeling lousy over this rather bemusing episode. The semester started innocuously enough, with an enthusiastic instructor who told many long […]

Wrapping up

When I began teaching again in August, I walked into class with much reservation and trepidation, having been out of the classroom for so long. As the semester unfolded, I learnt alongside my students, about their likes and dislikes, their hopes and aspirations and things that were on their mind right now. Along the way, […]

Respect for our teachers

Reading Mrs Chua Yen Ching’s story on The Straits Times and reading Facebook responses to this story provided much fodder for reflection. As someone who used to be with the Education Service, I know there is more to that which is reported. As much as I respect and admire Mrs Chua for her optimism and willingness […]

A teacher’s heart

Only two days into the week, I am ready to declare this to be a most difficult week, drained physically and emotionally. Nursing a sore throat and experiencing the onset of flu, my energy level is dreadfully low. However, low energy is never a good enough reason for any teacher to miss class and as […]

A teacher’s role

As I once again step into the shoes of a teacher, I begin to reflect on what does a teacher really do. Below are some insights that arose from spending two days in the classroom. A teacher is firstly a learner. Before I can begin to teach, I need to learn. I need to master […]

To teach again

Aug 2010 was the last time I stood before a class, just before I left Singapore for the United States to pursue a Masters degree, and how much I have forgotten what it feels like to teach. Apart from the usual anxiety of having to face a class again, uncertain whether I would be able to […]