Lim Wei An is a double Training Awards recipient who graduated from the Higher NITEC in Early Childhood Education Programme at ITE College Central and is currently pursuing his Diploma in Early Childhood at Ngee Ann Polytechnic.
My decision to pursue an education in the field of Early Childhood was deeply influenced by my sister. She is working as an early childhood educator and has received awards on many occasions for her outstanding work performance. I am inspired by her passion and commitment in her field of work. Over the years, I have also developed a strong passion for teaching young children. I find it a joy to be around them and a true blessing to be able to interact with them every day and to experience their warmth and affection. I made my decision to pursue a career in early childhood education.
My academic journey at ITE was not a smooth sailing one, and on many occasions my patience was put to the test. Being a male early childhood educator added to the challenge. I can still recall the first day of my internship when parents watched closely as I interacted with their children. Several parents also doubted my ability in managing their children. I resolved to dispel these misconceptions.
I volunteered actively under the ITE Sunburst Step Programme. Under this programme, I helped to create and implement lesson plans for underprivileged children from various PAP Community Foundation (PCF) centres in Singapore. I further honed my planning skills as an executive committee member in the Early Childhood Department of ITE as I was given many opportunities to plan activities involving the entire department. I also learnt how to collaborate with others in the team. Those experiences boosted my confidence and helped me become a better early childhood educator.
The ECDA Training Award brought me a step closer to achieving my goal of becoming an educator. Not only do I see the Award as a stamp of approval for my commitment as an Early Childhood professional, it has helped me to relieve my financial burden. I did not have to worry about the course fees and I was granted an allowance to purchase learning resources such as a laptop and textbooks. The Award has also given me a head start in the field as I was ale to make use of the Professional Development Grant to enrol in relevant programmes and expand my knowledge and experiences outside the classroom. It has deeply enhanced my educational experience at ITE and I strongly encourage my peers to take it up.
The 3-month internship during my course at ITE has allowed me to apply the therories I learnt to a classroom setting, as I created and conducted my lesson plans. I have also learnt how to build learning corners, dramatize lessons, as well as pick up different art techniques and sewing skills. More importantly, I learnt that every child is a unique individual and there is no "best method" to manage a particular child.
I am looking forward to graduating from Ngee Ann Polytechnic as I am eager to serve in the sector. I also hope to work towards a bachelor degree as my dream is to become a lecturer at ITE, inspiring future generations of early childhood educators the same way I have been inspired by my lecturers. As a male in a predominantly female career field, I hope to break the stereotype thinking and woild like to urge my peers to join this noble profession. To those who are pursuing their education in early childhood, continue your quest for new knowledge and follow your passion to give a good start for every child.