She offers college students the language and tools to express their passions and worries

As Head of Department for Character and Citizenship Training at CHIJ Secondary (Toa Payoh), Ms Sum Kar Mun seeks to inspire students to hook up with entire world issues and find solutions. 

The Superb Youth in Education and learning Award (OYEA) 2023 recipient tells Schoolbag how a show of care of a Drama trainer conjures up her to do likewise for her college students, which contains undertaking more for their psychological wellness. 

What conjures up you to train?

I remember just one of my English classes which comprised a smaller but feisty team of girls – they were being vocal about standard teenage problems like friendship problems and college strain and were also staunch feminists who believed in gender equality. When we obtained the possibility to take a look at social brings about and volunteerism while understanding how to generate arguments, I considered about curating the examining material so that it would superior resonate with them. 

Recognizing my ladies would pretty probable be moved by something that identified as out to the feminists in them, I quietly tucked an short article on interval poverty among the others and crossed my fingers. 

They did not disappoint. 

When the college students were intended to take turns to present on their assigned short article or movie to the course, we spent the most time on the period poverty element. The dialogue was animated – they were being taken aback by the extent of this difficulty for the significantly less fortuitous in modern society and intrigued by the women of all ages who took up this lead to.

In reality, they were so influenced that 1 of them launched a Values in Motion task with her CCA a couple months afterwards. As a media club, they made a collection of videos to raise consciousness of this concern amongst their schoolmates. The college student also led her CCA to organise a donation push for pads to contribute to the induce.  

“Aside from equipping our pupils with the language competencies to far better express themselves, our school rooms are also a place for our learners to treatment and be cared for.”

Likely the additional mile for my college students isn’t a extend if I imagine about how my personal teachers did the very same for me in my youth. At junior faculty, we would place in additional hrs following faculty for jobs or to revise for our exams, and my Theatre Studies & Drama trainer would carry cookies – chocolate chip ones – to stave off the starvation pangs he knew we ought to have been obtaining. 

These days, when I assume of the treatment of a instructor, I imagine of these cookies fondly.

Apart from equipping our pupils with the language skills to better express them selves, our classrooms are also a area for our pupils to care and be cared for. By means of our initiatives, they can also find out about what issues to them, concerns they have a passion for, and realise their ability to do a little something about it.

Describe a training tactic you have discovered helpful.

For me, fingers-on ordeals and authentic contexts can assistance far more successful instructing and learning.

To help students bear in mind that excellent writing calls for them to take into consideration the intent, viewers and context diligently, I appear for chances to assign genuine tasks in English. This consists of completing the Caring Instructor Award nomination sort, for illustration. Recognizing that their producing meets genuine-globe objectives and could have tangible results encourages them to craft extra considerate responses. 

With each other with the Character and Citizenship Education (CCE) crew, I have also witnessed the significance of experiential studying. We program and adapt lessons to contain pursuits from simulation routines related to visible impairment to a team task of developing the tallest tower working with restricted resources provided. 

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These make for richer finding out activities that learners can mirror meaningfully on, and they are typically capable to articulate crucial classes learnt. At Secondary 3, our students consider portion in a Do the job Publicity Programme that encourages them to discover an sector or join a organization for a week to make informed write-up-secondary selections. We spouse with a variety of organisations and businesses to provide the pupils with this palms-on studying prospect that provides them a flavor of the operating planet.  

Which school initiative are you especially happy of?

We recognized that in recent decades, pupils started sharing more considerations they experienced about running their very own properly-being and their concerns about mates dealing with destructive feelings. We go over these subjects in CCE classes and have welfare representatives in each individual course who help their pals and approach bonding things to do. But we were being wondering what far more we could do. 

Therefore, Job HERO – an initiative seeking into scholar effectively-currently being – was born. We trialled Mindfulness Mondays past year, which saw students seeking out breathing physical exercises in class with their kind instructors and conscious going for walks routines all around the college. 

There was also a wellness roadshow with gurus. Together with associates from the National Health care Team, we planned a assortment of things to do for the learners to take part in for the duration of recess one working day. Students took on a cone-hopping problem at a booth targeted on actual physical nicely-staying and collected stickers with positive messages that have been designed by a member of staff. There was also a gratitude corner set up the place college students could compose cards to show appreciation to their pals and teachers in faculty.

Up coming, we put with each other a Wellness Journal in partnership with a couple of other secondary universities as a resource college students could use to practise mindfulness and interact in a variety of activities this calendar year. Some pupils with troubles managing their damaging ideas have found it a incredibly practical source and have been sharing with me about how they take pleasure in the internet pages focused to colouring and reminders about breathing workouts. When the learners and teachers are nevertheless checking out the ebook, I am inspired by the pupils who have located it significant and are learning techniques to far better help themselves and glimpse immediately after their have well-being.

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