In my last job, I was working in the corporate world with regional responsibility and played the role of team leader, coach, and mentor. The team saw me as a caring boss that facilitated their growth and development. In their farewell messages, they thanked me for keeping everyone together and listening to all their concerns, in sharing their victories and moments of sorrow.
When I left the corporate, I abandoned the comfort of the enormous cruise ship and ventured out on a sampan on my own. I started teaching my first class of ‘Tell Your Story with Electronic Scrapbook’ in August 2018 (See blog Journey of Learn, Live and Share). At this point of writing, I had conducted some 30 workshops and taught nearly 300 students. See blog entries Charting a Course for New Growth and Reflection – Tell Your Stories Workshop Series.
Like metamorphosis, it took time to shed off old corporate habits and thinking very much ingrained in me. I need to act like a small business that is nimble and creative in Singapore. My target audience is no longer corporate clients but seniors who are keen on continual lifetime learning. I have to adapt the teaching material and class projects that meet their needs. My course development and delivery shall take into consideration of the learning preferences and motivate the seniors.
My Dream as a Teacher
I am getting used to students addressing me as ‘Teacher Lai Siong’ or ‘Teacher Ms. Cheong’. I received Happy Teacher’s Day greetings, ‘Thank you Teacher!’ sounded like music to my ears. Being addressed as a teacher brings a whole new meaning to my role as a trainer and facilitator.
When I was young, I aspired to be a teacher after completing my G.C.E. ‘A’ level. Disappointed that the National Institute of Education rejected my application to be a teacher, I worked as a tutor while waiting for my University to start. Hence, my only experience as a teacher was that of a private tuition teacher.
I am happy to realise my dream as a teacher. I am blessed and I am grateful.
“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge,” said Einstein. I aspire to do just that!