This is a portrait of me drawn by a student from my first year of teaching. In this portrait, I appear calm and collected, elegant even, in a beautiful purple hat, red lips and jewelry. Clearly, the young artist utilized artistic license in this portrait as I was far from being calm and collected in my first year of teaching, let alone elegant!In fact, I would say that my first year of teaching was - for the lack of better word - a rollercoaster. I would feel excited, passionate and hopeful one day and then lost, isolated and like I have failed my students the next. I was constantly inspired by my students - young minds that picked up new skills and ideas so easily, given the right guidance. Yet at the same time, I was frustrated with an education system that was exam-oriented. I was tired of having to drill my students with exam practices while knowing that they could far more benefit from reading lessons that developed their critical thinking skills. I felt guilty for not knowing how to help my Year 6 students pass their English paper when they could barely read.
Four years later, I transitioned out of classroom teaching (my plan has always been to leave after several years, gain new experience and then return to the classroom), I joined Teach For Malaysia as a Leadership Development Officer. I supported new teachers in their early years of teaching. This was an especially interesting role for me - I had not been in teaching for too long to have forgotten the struggles of a first year teacher yet I had been in the system long enough to understand the challenges of teaching in a public school in Malaysia. It was in this role that I found my passion for coaching and supporting other teachers and leaders in education.
Through my work, I hope that teachers and fellow educators will feel supported and empowered. I believe this will translate into improved student outcomes.
Whether it is a school who wants to roll out a new strategic plan or a teacher who simply wants to improve her classroom management, I hope that I can make a difference.