Igniting students’ passion for words
These Inspiring Teachers reveal the secrets of their success
She is just 29, but in her four years of teaching in several secondary schools and a junior college, she has inspired her students to develop a passion for English literature .
For her dedication, Ms Bernice Yeo was the youngest recipient of the Inspiring Teacher of English Award this year.
The award, which honours outstanding teachers of English language, English literature and general paper, is in its 11th year.
The nine winners this year – chosen from 102 nominations – received their awards from Ms Indranee Rajah, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, and Second Minister for Finance and Education, in a ceremony at the National Library Building last night.
Five of them, including Ms Yeo, received the teaching award for excellence in the classroom while four heads of department received the leadership award for developing effective English programmes.
Ms Yeo, who teaches English literature in Eunoia Junior College, said she places emphasis on getting feedback from her students to understand their needs.
“I have had students, who used to tell me they hated literature, change their minds and become fans of an author. They even quote the text back at me at unexpected moments,” she told The New Paper.
She believes that learning is most effective when students enjoy what they are learning.
“I try my best to make classes fun and relevant to the students, and in doing so, expose them to the infinite beauty and splendour of the literary world.”
Mrs Mishaelle Chua, 42, who teaches English language at St Joseph’s Institution, enjoys teaching because she believes she can make a difference to the future of Singapore.
“I take this responsibility seriously as I know that my efforts in today’s classroom can impact the students and leaders of the future,” said Mrs Chua, who has 19 years of teaching experience.
Her philosophy as a teacher is to always develop the potential of each student.
She boosts students’ confidence through debates, oral presentations and inter-class poetry recitals.
She also initiated and championed the Reading Circle Programme in 2010 in her school to enhance the existing reading programme and develop close reading and speaking skills.
She said: “With sufficient guidance, these young minds will develop a habit of reflection, thus allowing them to flex their muscles in the department of empathy– a quality we can never have enough of in this information era.”
Ms Bernice Yeo (left) and Mrs Mishaelle Chua.