We are pleased to announce that Ms Siti Khadijah Bte Mohd Anis, a Malay Language teacher from the Mother Tongue Languages Department at Jurong Pioneer Junior College (JPJC), has been conferred the Caring Teacher Awards 2020 (National Commendation Award). The Caring Teacher Awards (CTA) are aimed at acknowledging teachers in schools who go beyond the call of duty for the holistic development of their students and ensure their charges grow up to be confident and independent learners for the nation. Started in 1996, the CTA is organised by the National Institute of Education, Singapore, with support from ExxonMobil Asia Pacific Pte Ltd and the Ministry of Education.
Ms Siti Khadijah is well-loved by students for her warm, friendly demeanour and the effort she puts into building strong rapport with them. Here are some interesting thoughts she has shared with us about her work as an educator, the secret to her dedication and passion and some of the challenges that the Covid-19 pandemic has posed to her, in the aspect of pastoral care and supporting her students.
What are some of the contributions you have, that you think have enabled you to win the CTA (National Commendation Award)?
“As a Civics Tutor, I actively make sure that I get to know the students well and understand their needs and profiles. Having close rapport with students gives them the assurance that they have someone to confide in, and motivate them. As a Teacher Counsellor in the college, I have helped students to overcome various challenges. I seek to understand their perspectives when I listen to them. Every student’s challenge is different - regardless of whether it is about motivation, confidence, family or school problems – and it is important that I listen and help whenever I can. I feel that the welfare of a student is very important, and education goes beyond just academic achievements. Caring for a student is caring for his or her holistic well-being, and I try to do that in my various areas of work as a teacher.”
Do you think that the duty of a teacher is important, not just as an educator?
“In my opinion, a teacher is not just an educator, but someone who inspires and motivates. A teacher goes beyond the academic areas to take care of the character development of our students, especially their socio-emotional well-being.”
Do you have any motivational words for your fellow teachers?
“Every effort in reaching out to students counts, no matter how small they may seem. In our interactions with them, always be proactive in knowing them, and be ready to listen and support them.
How has the Covid-19 pandemic impacted your work as a teacher, and how you care for your students?
“The Covid-19 pandemic has brought challenges to everyone, especially our students. Regular check-ins are now more important than ever, and especially so during the Full Home-Based Learning period. As a Civics Tutor, I have regular online conversations and check-ins with my students. I keep in touch with them via text messages too. I try to find out about their challenges at home too, so that I can better understand their needs and concerns.”
Congratulations Ms Siti Khadijah, on your CTA (National Commendation Award), and we thank you for the hard work and dedication in caring for JPJC students!