Featuring Mrs Elsie Tan-Chua, ECDA Fellow and Principal of Living Sanctuary Kindergarten; Ms Dianne Swee-Seet, ECDA Fellow and Ascension Kindergarten; and Ms Tan Beng Luan, ECDA Fellow and Principal of Creative O Preschoolers’ Bay.
You might have heard of students rearing guppies, shrimps and maybe even hamsters for school – but have you heard of classrooms rearing… stick insects?
Meet Mrs Elsie Tan-Chua, ECDA Fellow and Principal of Living Sanctuary Kindergarten, who purchased the six-legged creatures much to the delight of her students.
Citing the need to use innovation to spur children to learn and be excited about learning, Mrs Tan-Chua finds every opportunity to bring in unique teaching resources into her classroom.
Be it the arts, science or through cultural lessons, there are multiple innovative ways to inspire and nurture young minds.
Here are three tips on helping young minds develop:
- “Use things that excite both teachers and children, so that they can explore, discover and learn together”
From her 18 years of experience in the early childhood sector, Mrs Tan-Chua feels that she has learnt and grown as a professional as she worked alongside young children and teachers.
That’s why she believes that it is good to use things that teachers can learn something from as well.
Alternative lessons help spark curiosity, so that children are encouraged to constantly learn and discover, while teachers are motivated to sharpen their skills and keep themselves abreast of the latest developments in the sector.
- “Through music and art, children are encouraged to express their individuality and creativity, and more importantly, learn to respect one another.”
“I think one of the best parts of encouraging the arts is giving children room to share their ideas with one another. When they share, they learn that there is no right or wrong in creativity, and they should respect each other’s opinions,” said Ms Swee-Seet.
These then create a positive environment that helps build children’s confidence.
- “Teach children about diversity. Teach them the similarities among different cultures, model cultural harmony, and instil cultural appreciation through daily life.”
That’s why Ms Tan Beng Luan, ECDA fellow, Founder and Principal of Creative O Preschoolers’ Bay, encourages the celebration of different festivals in the classroom.
“Children are innocent, forth-right, sincere, friendly, helpful and caring. They remind me daily of all these wonderful basic human qualities,” said Ms Tan. “When being with them, I become humble and patient and I learn much from them. For that, I thank you, Children.”
About ECDA Fellows
The ECDA Fellows are a select group of exemplary early childhood professionals with high levels of leadership and professional expertise. The sector as a whole benefit from their extensive experience and deep expertise. The ECDA Fellows work closely with ECDA to train and mentor other early childhood professionals. They will also develop sector-wide resources for professional development, curriculum leadership and sector partnerships.