Teachers’ Day is celebrated on the first Friday in September for children attending preschool in Singapore. It is a designated school holiday for MOE schools as well.
To bring more attention to the tasks that early childhood educators have, we reached out to MindChamps Chinese PreSchool @ Thomson and got them to share with us the things that their teachers get up to during the day.
Caring for children in playgroup, nursery and kindergarten in Singapore
Routines help toddlers and young children establish important hygiene habits as well as understand schedules. Routine care is necessary for keeping children clean and comfortable, and is done on a daily basis for children in nursery in Singapore. At MindChamps Chinese PreSchool @ Thomson, most of the instructions for routine care are in Chinese.
1. Diaper changing
Diapers are changed regularly for PG to N1 classes, while other classes have regular toilet breaks. Keeping the basic needs of children met encourages positive behaviour.
2. Clothes changing
By teaching children how to change their clothes independently before nap time, teachers inculcate a good sense of personal hygiene in children.
As part of a routine before nap time, N2 to K2 children brush their teeth to keep their teeth clean, monitored by teachers.
How preschool teachers in Singapore build confidence and respect in children
4. Greet children
Welcoming each child in the morning with a greeting and warm smile, and sending them off at the door when their caregivers pick them up helps to nurture a positive attitude in children.
5. Teach children how to take turns
Children at MindChamps Chinese PreSchool @ Thomson are learn to take turns through daily activities and events for them to establish respect for their peers.
6. Create opportunities for children to build confidence
Show and tell activities, dramatic play and speaking in front of the class help children to overcome stage fright and develop self-confidence.
Children at MindChamps Chinese PreSchool @ Thomson also have opportunities to develop gross motor skills and discover their and musical abilities through the NeuroMooves™ and Music for the Mind™ enrichment programmes.
7. Mediate disagreements
Young children who have yet to learn how to express their emotions may end up biting or reacting aggressively. That is where preschool teachers in Singapore step in to be peacemakers and mediate disputes between young children.
8. Bring learning outdoors
Lessons for children in playgroup, nursery and kindergarten in Singapore do not have to be confined to the classroom. Children are regularly going outdoors for gross motor activities and nature walks to supplement classroom learning.
For example, at MindChamps Chinese PreSchool @ Thomson, children painted their kites with different flowers using Chinese painting techniques and flew them at Marina Barrage.
Other responsibilities preschool teachers in Singapore take on
9. Plan centre events and excursions
Centre events and excursions are a welcome break from the daily routine for children and are planned by teachers.
During the Chinese New Year Period, children at MindChamps Chinese PreSchool @ Thomson were brought on an excursion to Chinatown to bask in the festive atmosphere. They were introduced to the Chinese culture and customs, and got to sample the food and admire decorations. Children had fun buying decorations and goodies with some money given to them.
10. Design weekly lesson plans
At all MindChamps PreSchool centres, teachers work together to craft weekly thematic and enquiry lesson plans based on the children’s interests. In addition, they also structure the learning environment and activities based on the children’s developmental needs.
11. Plan Chinese Cultural Activities
Over at MindChamps Chinese PreSchool @ Thomson, teachers plan activities for the Chinese Cultural Appreciation activities to cultivate a keen interest in the Chinese language. This includes paper cutting, calligraphy, Chinese knots as well as lessons on Chinese rhymes and idioms.
To enhance the learnings of the Chinese Cultural Appreciation activities, the teachers linked this to the In-Between Term programme, where they explored oil canvas painting with the children.
12. Update parents with ongoings in school
At MindChamps PreSchool and MindChamps Chinese PreSchool, parents receive updates on a weekly basis through messages from the class teachers and centre. Through timely updates of curriculum and daily happenings, parents can feel assured about leaving their children in school.
13. Providing a listening ear to children
Children want to be heard. Apart from teaching and planning, teachers play a huge part in the emotional development of the children by engaging them in conversation and listening to them express their feelings.
14. Showing them care and affection
Young children may not be able to express themselves accurately in words and need more attention from teachers to understand what they truly want. Teachers show their students care and affection by being their guardian and watching out for their safety both in school and during outings.
15. Upgrading their skills
Teachers are lifelong learners. They constantly learn more skills through training and development in order to impart them to their students. At MindChamps PreSchool, teachers undergo up to 200 hours of training and accreditation.
Early childhood educators play an important role in children’s lives and they truly do much more than what we can see on the surface. This Teachers’ Day, we would like to thank all the teachers in Singapore for making a positive difference in the lives of the next generation.
Written by Jamie Koh