ECDA TA Commendation Award Winner 2018 - Noah Koa
Growing up, Noah was never called the “smart child” by his teachers. Some even made crude remarks about how he was slow in his learning and would complain to his parents on his “below average” development. His personal experience made him understand that every child is unique and should be nurtured at his own pace to unlock his individual potential. This motivated Noah to take up Early Childhood and to excel as an educator.
Since young, I was never known as a “smart child”. Teachers often made crude remarks about how I was slow to learn and complained to my parents about my poor performance at school. I remember either failing or barely passing my exams in primary school. However, things changed for the better during secondary school when I excelled academically as well as in my Co-Curricular Activities (English Society and National Police Cadet Corp).
My experience reflects how each child is unique and achieves his/her development milestone at the right time. Often, adults become disappointed when children fall behind in their development, but it is my firm belief that everyone develops differently and reaches their potential at different times. As a case in point, my being able to receive the ECDA TA Commendation Award is truly a testimony to that. Hence, I see myself becoming an early childhood practitioner as I stand to encourage children that they are capable of achieving their best in life and a testimony to parents that every child is special.
To me, children are full of energy and curiosity. I aspire to be an equally energetic teacher who is a learner for life and to make learning a dynamic, interactive, and enjoyable time for children. It is my hope to see children look forward to coming to school each day. Specifically, I plan to specialise in either Aesthetics and Creative Expression or Language and Literacy to spark the interest of children towards learning in the areas of Music and Movement, as well as Speech and Drama. In years to come, I would like to become a senior or lead teacher, and finally a principal, so that I can mentor young teachers to be excellent teachers for the children. Finally, in the later stage of my career, I look forward to continue making an impact in children’s lives indirectly by grooming future early childhood educators to meet their full potential by teaching at a polytechnic or university. As a lecturer, I hope that I am able to share insights into how enjoyable teaching can be, inspiring other educators to continuously grow, and encouraging reflective practice.
On a personal front, as a male educator, I hope to see more males join the sector. Research has shown that male figures play a significant role in children’s development and I believe that it is beneficial for all children to have male role models in a preschool. While the sector is mainly dominated by females, male educators are able to bring different perspectives and fulfil different roles. My lecturers at Ngee Ann Polytechnic have provided me much encouragement to become a good educator who constantly improve myself, and also to stand as a strong statement that male educators are equally important and valuable in the early childhood field. Parents of children at the centres that I have interned at have also encouraged me to give my best. This will always be a reminder for me to excel in my career.
My tip about being in the sector is to enjoy the continuous learning journey as an educator and surround yourself with positive vibes as you continuously grow and develop. The work is not easy as the fruits of our labour are hardly instantly visible, but we will definitely see them in time to come and we will never know how much of an impact we are making on the lives of children.
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