T he early years are most important in a child’s learning journey. Early Childhood Educators play an integral role in shaping the lives of children throughout their formative years. They create a myriad of meaningful learning experiences and opportunities which support children in their physical, cognitive, language and social-emotional development. The values, attitudes, behaviours and skills that children acquire during the early years mould them to be who they are as adults.
ECDA Training Award recipients Sabrina Goh and Lim Wei An fully understand the important role they play and the impact they have on young lives. They share with us their aspirations as early childhood educators and how ECDA helps to turn their dreams into reality.
Sabrina Goh Hui Yin
ECDA Training Award (ITE) Recipient
What sparked your interest in Early Childhood Education?
Sabrina Goh: When I was young, I admired my teachers because they were capable and caring. That was when I started to consider teaching as a career. I was not too sure if that was the path I wanted to take, but I kept the dream of being a teacher in my heart.
At one point in my life, I became engrossed in children’s storybooks. I was simply fascinated by how they were tailored to educate young children – to teach values, words or numerical concepts. I started to realise that I really liked being around children and teaching them about the world around them.
Lim Wei An: I always had this deep-seated desire to be an educator one day. I was always amazed by how teachers can create an impact on their students and change the world. I would often role-play an educator in an imaginary classroom when I was a kid.
My sister is another major influence in my choice to be in this field. As a current educator in the early childhood sector, she often shares with me about the genuine love and joy she receives every single day from the parents, her colleagues, and her young charges. All her stories have naturally inspired me to be part of the world she is in now.
What motivated you to apply for the ECDA Training Award?
Sabrina: I knew I wanted to pursue my career in this sector, so I was really excited to learn about the ECDA Training Award. I did a little research on the Training Award and discussed it with my friends, family, and my lecturers. They were all very positive and supportive of me taking up the ECDA Training Award and encouraged me to sign up for it. So without any hesitation, I took the opportunity and am fortunate to have snagged the Training Award.
Wei An: My family is of average income, so the opportunity to have my school fees covered along with a monthly allowance is too good to pass up. I was also motivated by how the ECDA Training Award would distinguish me from my fellow course mates. As a male practitioner of early childhood education – a field that is dominated by females – I felt that recognition from the industry would be valuable.
How has ECDA facilitated your development?
Sabrina: The funds that ECDA has provided me through the ECDA Training Award have definitely helped me financially. With the Training Award, I do not have to worry about finding a part-time job to pay for the materials needed for school. Now, I can better focus on learning to be a good early childhood educator.
Lim Wei An
ECDA Training Award (ITE & Poly) Recipient
Wei An: As an ECDA Training Award recipient, I get to be a part of ECDA events such as the Early Childhood Conference and Carnival 2015, both as a volunteer and a participant. During the event, I got to participate in workshops where professional trainers taught me things such as the usage of different aesthetic media like paints, texturised stamps, and puppets in the classroom.
Furthermore, I am also given opportunities through the professional development grant under the Training Award. With this grant, I am able to sign up for external classes that are related to the early childhood field such as drama classes or music and movement classes.
What advice do you have for aspiring ECDA Training Award recipients?
Sabrina: You reap what you sow, so work hard. Do your best and persevere no matter how tough things get, because the experience that you get will be unforgettable and worthwhile.
Wei An: The ECDA Training Award has many benefits and would definitely distinguish you from your fellow peers and colleagues in this field. I hope that you will consider taking up the Training Award. Also, be brave and pursue your passion to make a difference in the children’s lives.
I leave you with the wise words of the famous Maria Montessori, “The greatest sign of success for a teacher is to be able to say: The children are now working as if I did not exist.”