Putting the as well as in their function attachments — instructors carry serious-earth insights to their classrooms

How do lecturers retain up to day with field developments? By way of the Teacher Work Attachment Furthermore (TWA+) programme, academics gain initially-hand perception into the get the job done of distinct sectors, which in turn boosts their lessons and professional techniques.

Three teachers, who signed up for stints at the City Redevelopment Authority (URA), Institute of Psychological Well being (IMH), and the Science Centre Singapore, notify us what their ordeals necessarily mean to them and their learners. 

Soon after instructing Chemistry and Physics for 11 a long time, Mr Bernard Ng made the decision it was time to enrich his lessons and took a month off.

He experienced figured out about the Trainer Function Attachment Moreover (TWA+) programme operate by the Ministry of Schooling, which facilitates shorter-expression publicity and learning chances for lecturers in several sectors and industries, the two non-public and public.

Eager to beef up his expertise of serious-world programs and methods linked to his place of instructing, Mr Ng signed up for a four-7 days stint with the Science Centre Singapore in Might 2021. Exclusively, the trainer with Edgefield Secondary College was eager to check out what goes on powering the scenes at the centre, to see what he could bring back to faculty to boost his classes.

Improved in 2021, the TWA+ offers structured qualified learning options in a wider range of field clusters. This ranges from e-commerce to the imaginative arts, and academics can pick attachments in areas that may not be connected to their teaching topics. In excess of two to 4 weeks, they choose on perform at their picked organisation via arms-on tasks or by shadowing an officer.

3 lecturers, who embarked on attachments to the City Redevelopment Authority, Science Centre Singapore and the Institute of Mental Well being, convey to us how their attachments influenced their instructing when they returned to the lecture rooms.


Ms Lim Dun Lin, Teacher, Project Get the job done, Anderson Serangoon Junior Faculty

Dun Lin (1)Ms Lim Dun Lin, third from still left, with her learners from Anderson Serangoon JC.


Ms Lim Dun Lin, a Project Work (PW) teacher at Anderson Serangoon Junior College, states the most-questioned problem from her students is this: “Any tips to put together myself for the operating environment?”

To their shock, Ms Lim advice is not to focus on their grades. Not extremely so, at least.

Ms Lim’s conviction is fueled by her two-week TWA+ stint at the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) in 2019. “On 1 occasion, the crew at URA invested several days huddled with each other as we attempted to come across a answer to an challenge we confronted. That was the most pertinent observation for me: the important skillsets for the office could not just be about ‘hard’ expertise.

“Working alongside one another as a workforce, solving difficulties in resourceful ways and facing setbacks with optimism – I’d go as considerably as declaring that these competencies subject far more than a string of As on their consequence slip!”

Ms Lim also muses that her pupils become rapt with consideration when she shares illustrations of what she did at URA.

Attached to the Corporate Communications division, Ms Lim made components qualified at youths for the Singapore Metropolis Gallery. To approach for these packages, she spoke to URA officers and historians, and researched the diverse worries that Singapore faces.

She then introduced these insights back again into the classroom.

For the duration of Undertaking Operate conversations, she shares that initiatives, insurance policies and developments are made in the real entire world. In URA’s circumstance, it is with the needs of Singapore and her men and women in brain. She provides up the revolutionary alternatives that Singapore has adopted when running problems in city enhancement, this sort of as the District Cooling Method all around Marina Bay.

She has noticed that these types of conversation sparks a shift in her students’ state of mind. As a substitute of looking for model responses to a question, about the study course of the 12 months, they step by step seemed a lot more open to discovering clean perspectives and adapting from recognised remedies.

Ms Lim thinks they were being influenced by how the uniqueness of Singapore’s situation phone calls for creativeness in innovating and handling in her constraints. There is no one-dimension-matches-all solution toward a nation’s development or in truth, numerous problems in life.


Mr Bernard Ng, Senior Trainer, Chemistry and Physics, Edgefield Secondary College

Bernard (2) (1)Mr Bernard Ng conducting an enrichment session outlining the research that received the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.


Whilst most kids fondly keep in mind their time at the playground or library as component of their childhood, Mr Bernard Ng’s most interesting memory when developing up was his excursions to the Science Centre Singapore.

He cherished the science and engineering institution so significantly, he phone calls it his “Science Disneyland” he remembers the joy of getting aspect in its Youthful Scientist Programme, and how he frequently ‘bugged’ his Science instructor and mom and dad to get the job done with him on the many assignments as element of the programme.

No surprises that he would pick to be a Science trainer when he grew up, and when the possibility arrived for him to decide on an attachment stint in 2021, he jumped at playing customer tutorial to his favourite playground.

By way of his four-7 days stint, he aimed to provide things of its programmes into his school’s curriculum and programmes – from style concerns to implementation – to have interaction the more youthful era.

Mr Ng was connected to the Gallery Exhibitions crew, exactly where he deemed how the exhibitions and demonstration shows could be produced extra fascinating for guests.

“We looked into all the information that I may possibly not usually have assumed of – from ticketing to the amount and locale of bathrooms. We even considered the quantity and style of lighting for every show,” he remembers.

Back again in the classroom, Mr Ng grew a heightened awareness of the “student experience”. He grew to become far more delicate to ensuring a conducive classroom established-up for lessons.

Mr Ng begun to incorporate audio and video clip guides on top rated of penned guidelines for House-Centered Learning jobs, for instance. “I realised this may appeal to diverse types of learners, and would also make the assignment a bit far more appealing,” he suggests.

He also redesigned his Google site to minimise the variety of clicks essential for students to entry lesson assets and supplementary elements. These tweaks compensated off – college students used an ordinary of 10 minutes longer on the website in comparison to right before.

“Prior to the attachment, my view of instructing was centred close to curriculum supply and assessments. The Science Centre working experience bought me to think about the wider discovering expertise of the college student.”


Mr Derek Foo, Instructor, Venture Get the job done, Anderson Serangoon Junior College or university

Derek (1) (1)Mr Derek Foo, foreground, with his Venture Get the job done college students at Anderson Serangoon JC.

Mr Derek Foo, who teaches Project Work to junior university college students, required to assist the mental very well-staying of his pupils. It was 2019, when he felt that college students have been starting to be increasingly much more snug talking about their psychological overall health and struggles, and he required to be a much better mentor to them in that regard. With that, he decided to embark on an attachment with the Institute of Mental Wellness (IMH) to better fully grasp the concerns.

In excess of 4 months, Mr Foo’s involvement ranged from personal scientific classes with a expert instructor for little ones with developmental issues, to ward rounds that associated greater group discussions amongst physicians, situation supervisors, health-related social personnel and psychologists evaluating a variety of client desires. He frequented a wide variety of wards, clinics and units that looked following distinct client demographics with varying levels and forms of mental health issues.

“Through these visits, I was privileged to be ready to interact with the nurses on web-site and listening to about their activities, difficulties and motivations doing the job in this surroundings.”

How has this improved the way he teaches in faculty?

Nowadays, Mr Foo intentionally sets apart time weekly to explore strain management in class. “The attachment helped me go a little bit outside of talking about essential mental wellness guidelines, and I can delve into the value of looking for experienced psychological health care if needed.”

“Beyond just examining up on mental well being matters, I knowledgeable initial-hand how psychological wellbeing difficulties – which include its management and treatment method – are managed. This puts me in a better stead when guiding my pupils, which hopefully encourages them to communicate to me when they want to talk about psychological wellbeing struggles and issues in its place of turning to social media, which some of them do.”

He also remembers an incident wherever his college student, Jane*, was warded at IMH since of depression. Her mothers and fathers were anxious, as they had been uncertain of the treatment method of clients at the healthcare facility.

Mr Foo took the option to share his observations.

“I had to dispel the idea that the IMH is a area only for seriously mentally sick patients.”

Obtaining spent prolonged time interacting with people at the Section of Youngster and Adolescent Psychiatry (DCAP) Ward, Mr Foo also learnt about their activities and perspectives of the youngsters, which allowed him to fully grasp what Jane was likely by way of.

He provides, “While preserving confidentiality of the patients, I inspired Jane and her moms and dads by sharing illustrations of how other college students managed their illness and ongoing to practical experience a satisfying university lifestyle.”

Embracing a spirit of finding out

The instructors agree that taking time off from their occupied university schedules for their different attachment stints was really worth it. Their colleagues, who stand in for them in the course of the attachment time period, do so willingly. After all, it is not just the academics who attend the attachments who benefit. Ms Lim, Mr Ng and Mr Foo, for instance, eagerly share their learning factors with their colleagues.

“I’m aiming to attend yet another attachment when the chance arises. I’m also encouraging my colleagues to give it a shot,” shares Ms Lim. “The working experience is largely unique from university life, which gives me new ideas on how to make my lessons superior.”

The most significant beneficiaries? The learners, who enjoy more engaging lessons, are greater supported, and have a deeper appreciation of the working entire world.

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