The Latin root word cult is the root word for grow. You see the root word used in cultivate (to grow or develop), culture (ideas, customs and social behaviours of a group of people or when used as a verb, to cultivate the environment for growth), or multicultural (the growth of diverse groups of people).
For growth to happen, there must be care, thought and a dedication to making things happen. A person who is cultivating a garden waters it daily and puts thought into how to maintain and improve the garden. In the same way, growing into teacherhood requires deliberate attention and practice to identify areas for learning, no matter the age and context. | Read More |
This issue of NIEWS brings stories of growing into teacherhood to inspire educators. Across the articles – the write-up by Dr Zoe Boon, the interview with secondary school teacher Ow Yeong Wai Kit and research scientist Dr Pamela Grace Costes-Onishi, we find that the desire to learn is a key characteristic of the growing teacher. Furthermore, Pamela reminds educators of the need to be deliberate about the kinds of growth we seek to cultivate. Ways of thinking, feeling and doing are habits of the mind that are cultivated through everyday practices. Teachers who deliberately seek out learning experiences grow from these encounters – in their conversations with others, in their learning from books, and in their willingness to try new things.
This dedication to growth is exhibited by many of our educators, who despite their busy schedule, take time to learn to improve on their knowledge and pedagogy. Edmen Leong, one of our PhD students at NIE and contributor to this issue, takes time to learn despite his busy day job as Director Specialised Education Services at the Dyslexia Association of Singapore. I have met many dedicated teachers in my Masters courses, some on a part-time and others on a full-time route, but all on the mission to improve themselves to be better teachers.
I leave this introduction with the question to myself and to the readers, what are we doing to grow this year?
Associate Professor, Loh Chin Ee