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Three Recognised As Teacher Of The Year

Staff Awards 2020: Teacher of the Year

Teacher of the Year Award winners.jpg
From left, Lee Ying Ying, Ves Chee and Wong Wei Dee

In recognition of their significant efforts in teaching and nurturing student-athletes, Lee Ying Ying (Teacher, Mother Tongue), Ves Chee Kim Lee (Senior Teacher, Mathematics) and Wong Wei Dee (Subject Head, Science) and Lee Ying Ying (Teacher, Mother Tongue) given Teacher of the Year award.

Teaching With Compassion
When Chinese Language teacher Lee Ying Ying first started her career as a teacher, she promised herself to become a teacher with compassion, and help her student-athletes inculcate the right values by being a role model.

Through her daily interactions with her student-athletes, she has witnessed how they have matured over the years, struggled to find their direction in life, and how much effort they have put in to pursue their dreams. This has provided her the motivation to continue her passion in teaching. The strong friendship and support among teachers in the Mother Tongue department helps her stay the course, and motivates her daily to become a better version of herself.

“Many of my student-athletes overcome their struggles and difficulties with their own effort and determination. Many times I feel that teach me lessons which are better than what I have done for them. What I provided was probably just a listening ear, some encouragement and a different perspective,” shared Ying Ying.

As a Chinese Language teacher, Ying Ying hopes to make the language more applicable and meaningful to her student-athletes. She explores a variety of creative pedagogy to make lessons fun and enlightening.

Beyond the classroom, she is always ready to lend a listening ear and helping hand to her student-athletes. “I hope that they will feel loved and hopefully, pay it forward,” shared Ying Ying.

Helping Student-Athletes Believe In Themselves
“I once had a student-athlete who was doing badly in his studies. But with constant support and encouragement, he managed to pass his National Examinations. On results release day, he told me that he would not have persevered if not for my belief in him. That truly touched my heart and motivated me as a teacher,” shared Ves Chee Kim Lee, Senior Mathematics Teacher. This gave him more reasons to want to help his student-athletes maximise their potential, and achieve their goals and aspirations.

His motivation to make a difference as a teacher stemmed from his humble upbringing. As a child, he grew up in poverty and experienced how quality education opened the doors and provided opportunities for him to excel in life.

Student-athletes at the Sports School have very demanding schedules, but Ves believes that they are mentally strong and resilient to endure the demanding training sessions and stressful competition settings, while balancing the academic rigour.

“Do what you can, when you can” is what Ves firmly believed in when it comes to supporting his student-athletes’ learning and developmental needs. He believes in every single student-athlete, and never gives up on them. When he sees his student-athletes feel unmotivated, or are lagging behind in their studies, he will encourage them with his personal stories, and does his best to mentor and support them. He is someone who tries his best to turn the impossible into I’m possible.

“As a teacher, I hope to create lifelong impact in my student-athletes beyond the classroom. I hope that they will also display the same mental strength and confidence in life, believing that they can overcome any obstacles that come their ways (including Mathematics), just like how I have always believed in them,” shared Ves.

Every Child Is Unique
Wong Wei Dee, the Subject Head for Science, believes that every child is unique. With the right influence and guidance, they are ready to shine like a gem.

“As a teacher, my role is therefore to find ways to influence, to impact and to guide them so that their innate potential will surface. At the end of the day, frustrating as it could turn out, it’s back to this belief that each child is worth my time and energy.” shared Wei Dee.

Wei Dee is doing what many other academic staff are doing: Putting in the extra hours to help student-athletes understand scientific concepts, and make their learning better by connecting concepts with hands-on demonstrations and everyday objects. Beyond teaching and learning, Wei Dee focuses on building rapport with her student-athletes and inculcating the right values in them.

“It is about being observant of each student-athlete. When a child looks low in spirit, I approach with more gentleness and I am more willing to give room for negotiation. When a child has done something wrong, consequences must follow but this is done with sensitivity to their current emotional state. Some are ready to listen, others are not. For those who are not ready, that is where we plant seeds in them, hoping that someday, every student I teach will turn out to be contributing citizens of Singapore, with good and sound character. When they stumble upon challenges in life, they will be resilient and rise above their difficulties,” shared Wei Dee.