Inspiring the next generation

Students are constantly challenged to look at things from different perspectives and defend their stand in the classroom.

Students are constantly challenged to look at things from different perspectives and defend their stand in the classroom.

DO you remember the teacher who made a difference in your life? A good teacher does more than just impart knowledge to their students — they inspire them to give it their best and to dream bigger.

Many educators who devote themselves to educating their students hope to leave a positive impact on their lives. In addition to helping them find academic success, some educators encourage and help them achieve personal growth as well.

Here are the stories of two lecturers who devoted many years into educating the next generation.

Taking bold, new steps for the future

“After working four years as an engineer, I decided to switch to teaching as I decided that job satisfaction is more important,” he said.

Seo’s interest in teaching began when he was in school. While he enjoyed helping his classmates with their lessons, he enjoyed the challenge of making difficult concepts easy to understand.

His interest in doing so carried on even as he began his career as a lecturer at Taylor’s College. When technology was first introduced in enhancing education in classrooms, he was among the first enthusiastic early adopters. Seo recognised the potential technology had in improving the way students could learn.

His enthusiasm landed him an award for innovative learning, along with an opportunity to share his knowledge and experience with his fellow colleagues. They soon followed his example and started incorporating technology in their classes.

The changes soon had their effect. Student learning improved after the introduction of technology in classrooms.

“With the use of technology, education is now more flexible and convenient. Students can study anywhere at any time with their mobile devices. The Internet allows them to access information instantaneously.

“They can also interact with the lecturers easily using WhatsApp or FB messenger,” he said.

In the early years of his career, his teaching methods were limited to the old chalkboard and overhead projectors. Today, the innovative lecturer practices the Flipped Classroom method.

The method reverses the traditional approach to learning whereby students now watch the lectures outside the classroom instead of in class.

In class, students go through quizzes and ask the lecturer any questions they may have about the lessons. Seo discusses different questions while highlighting correct approaches in solving them.

“During class, I will summarise the important lesson points and clarify any questions that the students might have.

“Students need the lecturers more when practising questions than when watching a lecture being presented,” he explained.

Seo’s willingness to embrace new technologies and learning methodologies are part of his drive to constantly improve himself as a lecturer.

“We have to teach them to fish, not give them a fish every day. With the proper guidance, they will achieve their true potential,” he said.

For a better future

Wendy Loo, who has been with Taylor’s College since the start of her career, has seen many students come and go. Seeing them move on to start successful careers fills her with a sense of pride.

Over her 31 years at Taylor’s College, Loo has been a witness to the ever-changing landscape of the education field. Loo recalls that over the years, many programmes have changed to cater to the needs of students.

Loo, who teaches Legal Studies for the SAM/SACEI programme, believes that education today focuses on more than just academics. Classes today also encourage developing soft skills like teamwork and leadership. Loo has taken steps to reach out to her students and encourage them to pursue personal growth.

“In Legal Studies, students are constantly challenged to look at things from different perspectives and defend their stand in the classroom.

“It is my proudest moment to see them transforming from being shy and timid into confident individuals with perceptive analytical skills,” she said.

Ultimately, Loo hopes to equip her students with knowledge and life skills that will help them in their futures.

“Teaching is more than just imparting facts or knowledge. It’s about raising a new generation that will be equipped to take their productive place in the world. Teaching is about the positive transformation of young people’s lives – moulding their characters and instilling the right moral values.”

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