SINGAPORE: Twelve teachers on Thursday were recognised at the biennial Caring Teacher Awards ceremony, organised by the National Institute of Education and ExxonMobil Asia Pacific.
The award pays tribute to teachers from the primary and secondary schools, and junior colleges, who demonstrate care and concern for the holistic development of their students.
Award recipient Alina Ahmad Sany, a teacher at Bukit Panjang Government High School, said: "I want to give back to the school that taught me so much. In a way, I am passing down what they (my teachers) taught me. I wanted to give the same experience... I enjoyed learning."
Ms Alina is also one of the newest teachers to receive an award. She has four years of teaching experience.
Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education Hawazi Daipi was at the event and presented awards to the teachers.
Another teacher who was honoured is 32-year-old Corinne Zhu.
Inspired by her teachers, she wants to go the extra mile for her students.
Ms Zhu, who teaches at Anderson Junior College, said: "As a student, I was a very shy kid. But I had the privilege of having good teachers who saw that teaching was over and beyond just teaching me a subject, but helping me to find my confidence.
“When I was growing up, I felt (teaching) was something I wanted to do as well - to be a positive influence to kids.
“It could be problems with the subjects, or things that they (the students) are going through at home, and they feel that when coming to school they could have someone to listen to and talk things through. Being able to talk them through that situation, or to just listen to them, is what gives my job a lot of meaning."
But being a caring teacher can be a challenge at times.
According to Ms Zhu, with the packed schedule teachers and students have these days, both parties are finding it difficult to sit down and have a conversation.
She said: “Time is always an issue. I think that is one of the most challenging things, to find that time and have a conversation with them (the students).”
A commemorative book was also launched at the awards ceremony, chronicling reflections from 35 winners from this edition and previous years’ awards.
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