Pre-school teacher, Lok Soo Ying, 23, who clinched the Best Student Award for the Class of 2018, felt that in order for her to give her students the best, she needed to have a strong understanding of a child’s developmental stages. That was the inspiration behind her embarking on her Diploma in Early Childhood Education (DECE).
Two and a half years later, Lok stood proudly at the podium to deliver the valedictorian speech where she expressed her gratitude for the people and the events that had inspired her and her aspirations for the future.
”I am humbled that my lecturers have chosen me for this award; but I would not have been able to achieve this without the support of the people around me,” said Lok.
“My parents and my siblings have always been very encouraging, and they have faith in me,” shared Lok who explained that this was the motivation for her to strive to better herself.
Lok also shared that the guidance and care she received from her lecturers played a significant role in inspiring her to be a professional educator. In addition Lok who teaches full time was thankful for her bosses understanding in allowing her to work flexible hours.
However, she shared that it was the friendship with her course mates that helped her “thrive and survive” in college. “Although we experienced conflict at times, we were always able to resolve them amicably with respect for each other.”
“My entire college life was such a memorable one,” said Loo who made specific reference to a team building camp she attended. “The camp was held at the Dusun Eco Resort and themed “Find Yourself”. The activities were an eye-opener. Imagine crawling under barbed wire, tethering over rope, navigating a bamboo raft, and tracking in the jungle,” said Lok explaining that the experience made her realise that she was capable of any task if she could conquer her fear.
“I also have fond memories of overcoming what must have been one of my most challenging classes,” said Lok whose assignment for class CLS 141, Creating Learning Spaces For Young Children required the building of a model of a preschool, including its floor plans. “I fondly recall our discussions at the café and the nights we stayed up late making all the little details for the model. The experience taught me the values of teamwork and cooperation,” enthused Lok.
Lok shared that the Diploma in Early Childhood has enlightened her on a child’s physical, cognitive, language, social and emotional development. “This knowledge is helping me craft and create better lesson and activity plans to cater to individual children according to their development stage and ability,” said Lok who expressed that early childhood education (ECE) is perfect for those who love being around children and it is a platform for passionate individuals to push for educational changes.
“I believe that good educators are role models who help children create healthy and happy childhood memories. We must build a better future for our generation and for future generations.”