Building a positive and respectful environment to learn means having to go along with the children’s interests at times. This has been the philosophy of Teo Ming Ai, Lead Teacher of My First Skool (MFS) at Block 997 Buangkok Crescent.
Since joining MFS in 2018, she has actively contributed to the centre’s curriculum by creating learning materials that cater to different age groups’ developmental needs and current interests, such as preparing different spoon sizes for children at different developmental stages for a simple fine motor activity on scooping.
“I believe that we play an important role in setting the foundation of children’s learning and development of lifelong skills. As toddlers are still growing at different paces, observations are crucial in ensuring that developmentally-appropriate activities are planned for them. I also believe that respecting children’s interests and preferences helps in building their sense of agency and well-being,” said Ming Ai, who currently teaches Nursery 1 children at her centre.
In January this year, Ming Ai noticed that her students were interested in dinosaurs, animals and insects. Tapping on that, she created a Dinosaur Cafe in the dramatic centre and sourced for dinosaur puzzles, which engaged more students in these classroom activities.
During a nature walk, Ming Ai noticed that the children were interested in the different colours within the vicinity of the school. She then created colour sticks for the children to match and identify with these colours in the neighbourhood in the subsequent nature walk experiences.
“Ming Ai values children’s interests and ideas by providing a warm and inviting environment for them to explore and make choices. She carries out regular observations of her children and plans for learning experiences that cater to the current interests of the children,” said Pearlyn Tan, Executive Principal of MFS at Block 997 Buangkok Crescent.