Ms Khoo Ching Yee, Rachel is an ECDA Training Award Recipient. The 21-year-old teacher, at My First Skool Sengkang- 101 Rivervale Walk, completed her Diploma in Early Childhood Studies at Temasek Polytechnic.
I always had a passion for teaching and enjoyed being around children, which led me to enrol in the Diploma in Early Childhood Studies at Temasek Polytechnic. During my polytechnic studies, I joined Organisation Mondiale pour l'Education Préscolaire (OMEP) which is French for “World Organization for Early Childhood Education”. OMEP provided me with various opportunities to volunteer in early childhood programmes during my holidays. I also volunteered in events like the POSB Run for Kids and the Baby and Junior Race so that I would have the opportunity to interact with children. To keep abreast of sector developments, I participated in the IDA-TP PlayMaking exhibition and Learning Journey at ECDA’s Early Childhood Conference. I’m thankful for these opportunities to contribute to the sector in my own little ways.
The early childhood sector has seen so many significant changes in recent years, and it’s really an exciting time for us as Early Childhood educators. During my internship, I took part in an action research project where my group conducted research on the use of technology-enabled toys in enhancing engagement during vocabulary acquisition. Even though our research might have been on a rather small scale, it gave me an insight into the amount of professional knowledge that goes into being a preschool teacher. Teaching should not just be based on intuition or our gut feeling. Our practices should be informed by research and we need to keep abreast with knowledge about children development.
For me, learning never stops and we should continually look for ways to upgrade ourselves. Only then can we give more to the children. During my school holidays, I did relief teaching stints at various pre-schools and while my love for children may have been a primary reason, I also wanted to apply what I learnt from my course into my work. Now, as I begin my career as an Early Childhood educator, I want to hone my classroom management skills and build positive relationships with children and their parents. By taking up related courses, not only do I sharpen my skills, I also get to learn from other experienced educators. As I become better in my craft, I hope to mentor and inspire new preschool teachers, just as how my seniors and mentors have taken me under their wing and guided me. One day, I want to become a curriculum specialist.
Being an Early Childhood Educator has transformed me into a more patient and loving and yet determined person. In addition, I have become more cheerful and lively as I receive boundless love and laughter from my children every day. My aspirations for the sector is for quality early childhood education to be provided to every child. I hope to play my small part by providing a good start to each child’s life through building their confidence and also cultivating a love for learning.