In this month’s issue of Beyond the Classroom, we are proud to present to you, Chris from Smart Science Lab. Let us find out how this wonderful mummy imparts her knowledge to children by teaching them through a very hands-on method. Also, find out how she practices the art of empowering to spread positivity to the people around her!
1. Describe yourself and what you do?
I am a mother of two cheeky fellows and also working in Smart Science Lab which specializes in Science, Math and Robotics for preschoolers and primary school kids. I am passionate about children-related stuff like education, wholefood, sensory activities and parties.
2. Is there a story behind WHY you do what you do?/ To what extent have your talents/passions led you in any way to do what you do today?
I love children and imparting knowledge to them gives me immense satisfaction. When I was a child, many of my classmates and I didn’t have the opportunity to do many hands-on activities during our learning time. 11 years ago, I chanced upon Smart Science Lab and got in touch with a very hands-on approach to teaching. That led me to become a strong believer in learning through doing. I believe this is an optimal approach to education and Science is the best subject to deliver this message!
3. Share with us what you were like as a student and how school was like for you. In retrospect, how do you think that played a part in what you do now and who you have become?
Being a student was fun and explorative in the past. I had time to imagine and explore endless possibilities all the time and that was crucial in shaping me as an open-minded individual with problem-solving abilities. Also, having very little help from my family allowed me to increase my grit and be responsible for my own personal achievements and failures. This taught me to evaluate consequences, prepare in advance and most importantly, never give up!
4. How do you reinvent yourself? What motivates you?
Learning every day! Listening and learning through the eyes of many others around me, motivates me to be a better person.
5. What’s the best piece of advice you ever received or given? Or Share ONE life lesson and how it changed the way you approached life.
Once, I was helping a friend with a task and I accidentally swept her phone off the table causing it to crash into pieces. Being a young adult with no income, made me panic so much as I was worried about the cost of repairing the phone. I quickly picked up the pieces while apologizing profusely, but my friend was only concerned if I got hurt by the broken pieces and told me not to worry about the phone as it is only a tangible material. This hit me hard. Coming from an average Chinese family, a mobile phone is considered a luxury item and I have always been taught to treat tangible assets with extreme care. But no one has ever taught me to care for my relationships with the people around me with such gentleness and kindness. This incident and the words from my friend really changed my approach to handling relationships in life.
6. The future-ready educator should…
be FUN, attentive and creative.
7. What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I’ve just learnt the art of empowering and I am still practising it. I realized empowering gives off positive vibes that increase one’s (especially children) sense of responsibility and is a great way to redirect them back to their tasks. Telling my son that he is a ‘mini daddy’ and that he has to take care and protect his sibling when daddy is not around, makes him more vigilant to his sister’s safety and well-being. It also makes him feel proud that he is able to shoulder this responsibility and giving him a sense of importance and usefulness. I think empowering is also great for our ageing family members as it gives them a purpose in life and goals to work on after retirement.
8. How do you hope your business might do its part to transform or add value to the educational scene in Singapore?
Although Smart Science Lab is not my own business, I hope that we can continue to be a strong advocate of hands-on, fun learning and reaching out to inspire more students in Singapore. Learning should be a happy daily practice and not a dreadful pile of worksheets.