Teacher Alice - This is My Childhood Dream
“I love children. That is my nature.”
Affectionately called “Aunty Alice”, she is bubbly in the company of children. Cutting a slim figure and spotting a bob hairdo, one would not guess that she is actually nearing retirement! She says that this is the beauty of being with children.
Beneath her modest and friendly demeanour, there lies an unwavering passion for children. While growing up, she often played the role of teacher to her siblings and friends. The good teachers who she had encountered in her formative years also inspired her to follow in their footsteps. Therefore, when the opportunity to fulfil her childhood dream presented itself, Aunty Alice left her secretarial job, and joined the Early Childhood sector. She has never looked back since. Despite 26 years of experience as an educator, Aunty Alice remains a humble and keen learner. She readily adapts her methods to the changing learning styles of children. From the standpoint of both a teacher and grandmother, she expresses her amazement at how new generations of children are becoming increasingly observant, curious and responsive. Hence, she opts for the soft approach where she appeals to their reason and logic. Instead of mere instructions, she explains why certain things have to be done.
Her selfless love for children fuels her passion each day as she gives hugs and words of assurance to them. She desires to give her best so that the children will become the best that they can be. This teacher-child relationship extends beyond the classroom. She finds great delight whenever she meets the children and their families near her residential area by chance. The respect and affection she has shown to the young ones continue to be reciprocated. They still return to visit Aunty Alice even after they have grown up and formed their own families. The appreciation she receives from both parents and children continues to touch her deeply.
Aunty Alice is careful to always set a good example for the children. For instance, she is mindful of her language and behaviour whenever she interacts with both children and teachers, even in the way she laughs and talks. She is cognizant of the fact that children especially are always watching, and are quick to learn and imitate. She believes teachers have the responsibility to impart positive values to them.
Aunty Alice also stresses the need to be genuine, and asserts with conviction: “Say what you mean.” If she has told the children that they should not litter, she must not litter too. Only when what she says and does are consistent will she gain their trust.
When asked what advice she has for younger educators, she says without hesitation: “Great vision for the children.” EC educators need a great vision to recognise the potential in each child. They have to see even the most challenging situations as opportunities to make positive changes in the lives of young ones. Moreover, she shares that the children who sometimes display recalcitrant behaviours are often those who need additional care and attention. She recommends that teachers take time to consider each child and reflect on how the individual’s potential can be developed.
In addition, Aunty Alice believes that principals and teachers are all stakeholders in the well-being and development of children. She is especially grateful for the respect she receives from her principal and the teamwork in the kindergarten. Being able to work in a supportive environment allows her to focus on the children, and to love them as they are.
Aunty Alice’s tender loving care surely makes her an endearing figure to many young ones.
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