In this month’s issue of Beyond the Classroom, we are proud to present to you, Joycelyn of Ignite Tuition Centre. Joycelyn has an enthusiasm for learning and enjoys sharing her knowledge with her students to help them learn and grow.

1. Describe yourself and what you do?

“Miss Joy!” is what my students call me. I am a keen individual with an enthusiasm for learning and enjoy sharing any knowledge I have with the younger generation.

I currently manage Ignite Tuition’s daily operations, logistics and academic syllabi for about 400 students yearly from Kindergarten 1 to Junior College 2.

I am meticulous and a perfectionist in all that I do which translates into, hours and hours of pouring over tutors’ work to ensure they adhere to strict teaching standards, monitoring students’ performance to feedback to parents, and supervising business development. These skills have honed my eye for detail and allow me to run Ignite Tuition Centre smoothly.

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 was a below average student in a below average secondary school and would have done badly in school if not for a particular tutor I had.

He was unfailingly cheerful, boundlessly patient and sought to truly understand my drives to best motivate me to work hard. His unfounded but much-appreciated faith in me and my abilities pushed me to reach for the stars; without his tutelage, I would not have been able to make it into the prestigious engineering course in NTU or be sufficiently skilled to teach most core subjects at the secondary level. Since then, I have tried to pay my immense gratitude forward by giving other students the same academic and emotional support I had in order to achieve success for themselves. Hence, when I was fortunate enough to meet Ignite, I stepped into the education industry without hesitation and have not looked back since.

Under KK’s continuous mentoring in business development, as well as the ample career progression opportunities provided through the years, I can confidently say today that I am able to lead Ignite into a brighter tomorrow for our students and business partners.

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?

Hailing from an underprivileged family, I had to juggle school and part-time work since polytechnic. It was hard funding my own education, paying for my own daily expenses and supporting the family while keeping up with my academic workload.

It was a very trying period in my life, and it led me to understand that education is a privilege. I cherished every moment I was in class and hoarded each nugget of wisdom from my teachers’ mouths. Moreover, I learned the power of perseverance and hard work.

Since then, I take a special interest in getting to know mischievous students, knowing what makes them tick in order to best motivate them, as someone once did for me long ago.

4. How do you reinvent yourself? What motivates you?

As students’ interests and psyche change rapidly with the times, I seek to constantly improve myself by keeping up with their latest trends and habits in order to better understand their psyche and motivations so as to best manage and be there every step of the way on their learning journey.

Personally, what drives me to the office daily to not only work but also care about my work is the students’ genuine happiness in learning and improving themselves, both academically and emotionally, as well as their parents’ relief and gratitude that their children are equipped for anything the world can throw them in the future.

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.

The best piece of advice I ever received is “to always look at the bigger picture”. While seemingly ineffectual on its own, I am reminded that every baby step we take to help each child, will over time snowball and eventually lead them on to success. As there are no instant results in education, we must remain steadfast in motivating and guiding all children no matter how insignificant our actions may seem, so as to ignite their learning potential and leave no child behind.

6. The future-ready educator should…

…be ahead of the rest – we should develop and adapt teaching strategies and materials in line with the latest syllabus always so as to ensure that our students are best prepared for the examinations they face.

…be willing to learn from all. Where we see good improvements suggested, then no matter the source, we must keep an open mind to thoroughly consider them, and accept them where appropriate.

…be equipped with the best tools for the job. Given that our current youths are fed on a steady diet of technology from young. I feel that we should utilize technological elements where possible to make the students’ learning journey more effective, motivational and fun.

7. What have you just learnt recently that blew you away? / Share an example of a life that you impacted.

In 2018, I met a pair of sisters who, due to their complicated family situation, were neglected not just academically but also personally – they were placed in the care of an aged nanny with seven other charges, and their parents often forgot to finance all aspects of their upkeep, creating for abysmal living conditions.

As part of management, I raised and championed their case to my company, and we ultimately decided to sponsor their education fully. After a full year of hard work and eager cooperation from both sisters, we were proud to see that they had improved tremendously, with the younger sister leaving the ranks of illiteracy to catch up with her peers, and the elder sister advancing as much as two whole Academic Bands in half of her subjects. Moreover, both sisters were much more self-confident, less fearful of others and able to express themselves in their daily lives.

8. How do you hope your business might do its part to transform or add value to the educational scene in Singapore?

I hope that Ignite will be a place where parents, and not only their children can come to learn, be it an academic subject, a skill or an interest. We strongly believe in the current educational motto of ‘Lifelong Learning’ advocated by the government and seek to support it as best as we can.