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8 Things You Never Knew an MOE Kindergarten Teacher Does Every Day


More than just a teacher

 


Ms Shereen Low carrying out a daily visual health check!

I’d always thought that being a kindergarten teacher was simple. When you have a class full of 5 to 6 year-olds, how hard can it be? Go to school, teach the alphabet, then oversee play time. But knowing each and every child's food allergies? Favourite colour? What they did last Sunday? I never knew they were part of the equation too, until I shadowed MOE Kindergarten teacher, Ms Shereen Low, about her day.

From simple things like how to jump or grip a pencil, to forming complex sentences with “big” words, teachers like Ms Low are with their kids every step of the way. More than just teaching 123 and ABC - here are 8 things you never knew an MOE Kindergarten teacher has to do!

 

1. Help kids learn through localised contexts

 

The team behind MOE Kindergarten’s curriculum believe that children learn best when they can relate to what they are learning, hence the introduction of local ‘big books’ to their lessons. Colourfully illustrated with interesting storylines, the big books cover Singapore’s history, landmarks and delicious local food - all written and illustrated by Singaporeans!

This provides authentic contexts for children to learn, ensuring that learning stays relevant and applicable for them.

 

2. Sing - a lot

 


Image credit: MOE Singapore

In terms of the number of songs memorised, kindergarten teachers can probably rival any crazed K-POP fan or karaoke star. They literally sing before doing anything. That means singing before reading each book, after going to the toilet, during dismissal - you get the picture.

Songs are a great interactive way for the young ones to learn new things, or remember old ones. Beyond teaching them classic nursery rhymes, teachers also have to put their minds to work to come up with interactive songs, hand actions, and dance moves that relate to the lesson and help their children learn more effectively.


Image credit: MOE Singapore

 

3. Engage children in purposeful play

 


Image credit: MOE Singapore

The life of a kindergarten teacher will make you think twice about taking on that dull job you applied for. It’s one of the few jobs where playing games isn’t considered slacking off. As a fun way to help the children learn, teachers also get to join in the fun and play alongside the kids!


Image credit: MOE Singapore

Gone are the days where fun is restricted to playtime hours only - kindergarten teachers have a knack for making their lessons interesting. These classes are probably the most fun ones you’ll ever attend. 

Children, treasure this time of your life, because it’s not going to happen again… unless you decide to be a teacher, of course!

 

4. Ensure holistic development

 


Image credit: MOE Singapore

Growing into a fully-functioning human being might just seem like a natural way of life - but a lot of the credit actually goes to teachers who work doubly hard behind the scenes to make this happen.

Academics is just one part of the whole curriculum; kindergarten is also the place where children become aware of their bodily functions, and develop their many other intelligences.


Image credit: MOE Singapore

From creative expression to motor skills development, and social and emotional development, specially tailored programs help children harness their abilities through holistic learning.

 

5. Teach children to be responsible and caring

 

You might think that English lessons are merely to expand the kids’ vocabulary, brush up their grammar and whatnot - but in kindergarten, it goes beyond just that.

During MOE Kindergarten’s Starlight Literacy (English) lessons, a “Class Writing” segment is held, encouraging students to throw out various responses in relation to a theme. The class then goes through these answers together to help the young ones identify grammatical mistakes, and make them more aware of their actions and surroundings.

On the day we visited, Mother’s Day was just around the corner, and the children had to throw out ideas on the different ways they could help their mothers. So if your 5-year-old suddenly takes the initiative to help you out with some chores, you'll know where that came from.

 

6. Address special requests from parents

 

Parents just want the very best for their children, but for a kindergarten, that means having to accommodate their 1,001 special requests. Take that and multiply it by a whole kindergarten, that’s what you call dedication. No matter how out-of-this-world the request, kindergarten teachers will try their best to accede them because after all, a mother - or father - knows best.

Not only do they impart knowledge and nurture young ones, teachers go well out of their way to ensure the comfort and safety of every child. Be it accompanying them on each visit to the loo, or making sure their laces are tied.

At times, they even work beyond their stipulated hours, just because they care. One example would be having to recce excursion locations to see if they have suitable facilities for the children - namely, child-sized toilet seats.

 

7. ‘Talk’ to parents on a daily basis

 

In addition to the face-to-face interaction before and after school, teachers also communicate with parents daily via a “communication book”. Updates on every child’s progress are documented in this booklet, and acts of mischief or unusual behaviour are not spared from the book too. 

Brought back and forth by the kids acting as messenger pigeons, parents' responses and queries go into the communication book, along with consent forms and notices from the kindergarten. This facilitates teacher-parent interaction to support children's holistic development.

 

8. Mentor the next generation of teachers

 

MOE Kindergarten also offers internship opportunities for polytechnic students enrolled in early childhood education courses. During their internship, the students are attached to a kindergarten teacher, who will guide and mentor them.

Apart from nurturing the children, teachers also dedicate their time to nurture final year poly students who are aspiring to be pre-school educators. Sharing their real life experience and imparting values, the MK educators grow their capacity as mentors as well.

Ms Low brought her intern around, showing her the daily classroom routines. From the know-hows of facilitating activities, to handling new situations and children, MOE Kindergarten teachers take on the responsibility of equipping aspiring kindergarten teachers with the required skills and qualities.

 

Being appreciated

 

One of the toughest challenges these MOE Kindergarten teachers face is getting recognition from parents. There are a thousand and one things they do every day that aren’t obvious to the public eye, and yet they do it anyway. 

Having said that, the most fulfilling part of being a kindergarten teacher is the appreciation they get from their children. Kids call their teachers superheroes - and everyone knows children don’t lie. Seeing a child grow under their guidance is enough joy and motivation they need to propel them to continue doing what they do. 

Kindergarten teachers contribute to a child’s upbringing in more ways than you can think of. If you’re looking for a career that is wildly fulfilling and challenges you on a daily basis - and if you have a love for kids - this might just be the path for you.

Find out more about what it takes to be an MOE Kindergarten teacher


This post was brought to you by MOE Singapore.

 

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