Promoting Learning Through Innovative Teaching Practices
When Krishanthi Vijaya, Senior Preschool Educator at Skool4Kidz, was doing contract teaching in a primary school after her 'A' levels, she was intrigued with why some of the seven-year-olds found it hard transiting from preschool, while others had no trouble doing so. She wondered about early childhood development and its impact on giving a good start to every child. This brief experience sparked her interest to learn more about the profession in early childhood (EC). With some encouragement from her friends who were preschool teachers, she became a trainee teacher in 2014.
Krishanthi Vijaya, Senior Preschool Educator at Skool4Kidz at Sembawang East Crown
As a preschool educator for eight years, Krishanthi described her journey as an eventful and rewarding one. She recalled the initial days of COVID-19 pandemic, more than two years ago as the most memorable, where she had to modify teaching strategies and aids in view of the safety management measures. To sustain her children's interest in learning during those days, she also explored the world of technology for education and utilised virtual platforms to conduct interactive show-and-tell sessions. Krishanthi views every challenge as “an opportunity to broaden perspectives and gain new knowledge", and gamely takes them on.
Krishanthi engaging the children with different teaching aids during lessons
For Krishanthi, recognition from her children and parents are one of the main motivators spurring her to progress and persevere in her EC career. “It pushes me on whenever I witness the enthusiasm of the children during lessons. Words of encouragement from parents on how their children have progressed under my care, warms my heart and affirms my dedication." She was humbled when she received the Promising Early Childhood Teacher Award in 2021 for her efforts and passion over the years.
Krishanthi with her fellow educators
Krishanthi appreciates the positive working culture in her centre and strong support from her organisation in her professional development. She was nominated for PDP in 2020 and it has been an enriching journey so far. She was able to widen her horizons from the variety of professional development opportunities available. For instance, the course on 'Differentiated Learning in Numeracy' honed her teaching practices for children with diverse learning needs. The Innovation Grant Project (IGP) allowed her to oversee the planning and execution of the whole project and strengthen some teaching practices with innovative ideas, such as using technology to share knowledge on animal habitats and creating virtual zoo routes after a virtual excursion to the Singapore Zoo.
The preschoolers attending a virtual zoo trip during the implementation of the Innovation Grant Project (IGP) 'Wild Africa' led by Krishanthi
Last year, Krishanthi was further empowered to take on a larger job role as a mentor upon completing NIEC's 'Instructional Leadership' modular course. This helped her tremendously in planning and sharing pedagogical insights with new preschool educators. “With more knowledge and experience, I guide the junior preschool educators, just like how my mentor and principal inspired me when I first started."
Krishanthi (left) with her Cluster Mentor, Christina Pardiwalla
Currently in her final year on PDP, Krishanthi has recently been promoted to a Senior Preschool Educator. She attributes her growth and progression to her Cluster Mentor, Ms Christina Pardiwalla, for seeing her potential and supporting her professional development through the PDP. “I have always seen an ambitious spark in her and her strong dedication towards teaching was something to be nurtured," said Ms Christina. As a PDP for Centre Leaders graduate herself, Ms Christina found the programme useful in deepening the competencies of educators and leaders, and intend to continue developing more educators with potential through the PDP.
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