We debut the Little Steps’ Talking Teachers series, where parents can meet, greet, and get tips from Singapore’s awesome teachers. Get personal with these fabulous personalities, get into their classrooms, find out their teaching style, and learn what makes a great teacher!
In this edition, we say hello to the amazing team at Stamford American International School in Singapore: Early Years School Teacher Sylvie Lepillier, Mandarin Teacher Violet Chan, and PE Teacher David Pendleton-Nash.
1. Where were you born and where did you grow up? I was born in Battersea, London, UK and was brought up in the beautiful town of Richmond Upon Thames.
2. What/Who inspired you to want to be a teacher? When I was about 17, I got the chance to spend a great deal of time with the most delightful, fun, chatty little 2 year old girl. The things we did and talked about were so enlightening to me that I decided I could make a difference to young children’s lives.
3. What's your morning ritual? Sipping a milky, sweet coffee whilst I think about the day ahead and how I can make it extra special for each and every child in my class – then a gorgeous stimulating cycle ride into school.
4. Your favorite travel break? A beautiful beach with white sand and perhaps a mountain to climb in the distance!
1. How would you describe your teaching style? Energetic and FUN! Its always about the children and putting their needs first. Each child is unique but we focus on developing confidence and independence with children.
2. How is your classroom decorated? My class is a stimulating and enriching environment full of CHILDREN’S work.
1. One amazing memory from your time as a teacher? There are soooo many it is hard to pick just one! I remember one shy Nursery girl who was very quiet in class, but after her time with me she was able to take the whole class for story group time, and she would also say it was her turn to be the teacher! Watching all the children transform into confident happy, excited learners over the year is inspirational and that's why I just love my job.
2. Best advice to people who want to get into teaching? You will need a lot of energy and a passion for high quality best practice. A patient, caring and understanding nature and be willing to stay until you get the job done! Being a life-long learner and a teacher is a rewarding excellent way of life - not just a career!
1. Where were you born and where did you grow up? I was born and grew up in Taiwan.
2. What/Who inspired you to want to be a teacher? Dr. Carol A Gartrell played an important role in my process of my studies. She inspired me to be a teacher.
3. What's your morning ritual? I smile at myself in front of the mirror for 10 seconds every morning. It makes my day and helps me prepare for teaching Mandarin to students of different ages every day.
4. Your favorite travel break? Going home to Taiwan!
1. How would you describe your teaching style? My teaching style is inquiry based, enabling students aged 2 to 5 to construct knowledge and skill through exploring. I focus on listening and speaking in Mandarin through different activities and learning through play. I use songs, stories, music & movements and games to provide a fun learning environment.
2. How is your classroom decorated? As a Specialist Mandarin teacher I work in many different classrooms so I work with the homeroom teachers to create a fun and stimulating environment for children to explore Mandarin.
1. One amazing memory from your time as a teacher? Working at Stamford is an amazing memory for me. It’s a true multi-cultural environment and I am able to explore and understand different cultures in the school.
2. Best advice to people who want to get into teaching? Young children pick up a new language very quickly, it’s natural for them to mimic and take the visual cues while learning. If you’d like to be an Early Years language teacher, be open to creating an environment that makes students curious and encourages them to discover.
1. Where were you born and where did you grow up? I was born in Liverpool, United Kingdom and spent all my childhood there.
2. What/Who inspired you to want to be a teacher? My own PE teacher! Watching as young people learn and grow before your eyes is so exciting. I love the fact I can mix this with my passion for sports as a PE teacher.
3. What's your morning ritual? I have very little time for morning rituals. My mornings are a mission of getting 4 children and myself up and out to school!
4. Your favorite travel break? Not only do I teach Golf at Stamford, I’m also a professional golfer so my favorite travel break is anywhere which involves me being able to fit in a round of golf!
1. How would you describe your teaching style? It depends on the age and needs of the individual students. My philosophy is to place the child firmly at the heart of the learning process thus empowering them to determine their own learning. I deliver a framework to support students in achieving more than they believe they can.
2. How is your classroom decorated? My classroom can be a field, a pool or a studio. The studio is decorated with mirrored walls and contains an array of stimulating resources to develop the student’s motor skills.
1. One amazing memory from your time as a teacher? Watching the students' excited faces when we first introduced the SMART STEPS program - they were so eager to experience how fun the lessons were when making use of all the new equipment. Smart Steps provides a balanced assessment of the child’s motor skills, ensuring that the full range of skills are developed to provide the foundation for many classroom activities.
2. Best advice to people who want to get into teaching? Have a passion for what you teach. If you are passionate about your subject then this is transferred to your students.
Stamford American International School
1 Woodleigh Lane, (off Upper Serangoon Road), Singapore
+65 6602 7247