We continue the Little Steps Talking Heads series, where parents can meet, greet, and get tips from Singapore’s Heads of Schools! Get personal with these fabulous personalities and find out what makes them tick, their advice for parents navigating the schooling scene, and their favorite things about living in the city.
In this edition, it’s Rema Rajiv, Head of Preschool At Global Indian International School SMART Campus. Enjoy!
1. Do you have a nickname? Not really.
2. Where were you born and where did you grow up? I was born in Kerala, India but lived in Mumbai (also called the City of Dreams) for most of my life, before moving to Singapore in 1999, 22 years ago!
3. Where do you live in the city and why do you love it there? I live in Siglap and I love the connectivity to various parts of Singapore. The East of Singapore is a gastronomical delight with a range of cuisines and proximity to the beach where I go on long evening walks every day.
4. What's in your lunchbox? Different vegetables and fruits each day!
1. What or who inspired you to become a teacher? I always had a connection with young children and when my daughter was born, this increased ten-fold. Interacting with her friends in the park through fun activities gave me immense pleasure and an insight into the world of young learners. On the urging of friends, who saw me interact with these children, I trained professionally to become an Early childhood educator and have never looked back. It’s been well over 15 years since then, and I am happy to be the Head of the Kindergarten programme at GIIS, SMART campus.
2. Describe your school in 5 words or less: 21st Century learning environment with state-of-the-art technology.
1. What's your favorite thing on your desk and why? As the Head of the Preschool section, my daily responsibilities include reaching out to parents regularly. My telephone on my desk helps me stay in touch with the parents of our early learners and build a good rapport with them - so that’s my favorite thing on my desk!
2. What are your 3 favorite children's books? Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister, Matilda by Roald Dahl and The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.
1. What is the best way for parents to be involved in their children’s education? Encourage reading and work in partnership with the teachers in your child’s school by connecting with them, attending school events and getting to know how your child is progressing on all levels. Most importantly, spend time with your child on a regular basis to hear their perspective and supplement their learning with real-world experiences when possible.
2. Any tips for parents when applying for schools? Search for a school that provides holistic education and a fun, nurturing and safe environment. Find out about the regular activities conducted for students on a typical school day. Connect with other parents at the school and meet with the head of the department, to get a better understanding of the school, their values and culture and what it means to be a student at the school.
3. What’s the best advice a teacher ever gave you? This is my advice to any preschool teacher: never underestimate young children, provide ample opportunities for them in a stimulating learning environment and watch the magic unfold!