M Ed (Early Childhood Education), B Ed (ECE) Hons
Following an early career in customer service and relations, Jo has taught young children from nursery to kindergarten levels during her teaching career in EtonHouse. With her experience and expertise in early childhood, she guides and mentors student teachers who undergo training with EtonHouse Education Centre (EEC).
Jo believes that the best learning happens easily when the child is actively involved in the learning process – when the learning process is connected to the child’s interests and abilities and when it is hands-on enjoyment. She makes it her goal to make every child’s education a positive, happy experience and to help develop the confidence necessary to become a risk-taking, problem-solving, life-long learner. Jo was awarded the MCYS Outstanding Leader award for 2011, Singapore’s highest award in the child-care sector which honours and recognises the contributions of outstanding child care leaders.
EtonHouse Interview with Josephyne:
- What are your interests and hobbies?
I am always learning. Sometimes I wish I had gained certain knowledge earlier so that I could be a better teacher and person. I have no particular interests but I seem to be always open to trying and learning new things (except those that I perceive as potentially detrimental to my wellbeing, e.g. dangerous or thrill-seeking sports).
- What inspired you to become a principal of a pre-school?
As a class teacher with a Montessori and play-based background, I have always been influenced by an eclectic philosophy. I believe that there are many ways to teach and likewise, many ways for children to learn. To ensure that I was able to reach out to more children and to be able to adopt and implement a wider range of teaching and learning approaches, I decided to move up the ranks and take up the position of principal. Through my 10 years of leadership in EtonHouse, I am proud to say that our preschool at 223@Mountbatten has established a strong and sound curriculum which has served the children well into their primary schools.
- Which is your favourite part of the school, and why?
I love the glass walls that we have in our preschool which has become a common feature in most EtonHouse preschools. Apart from being aesthetically pleasing to the senses, the glass walls promote two-way communication and camaraderie between those on each side of the glass. Instead of ‘separating’ and ‘isolating’ the children from the wider community of the preschool, I see the function of the glass walls as connecting the children in the classroom to the ‘outside world’, and vice versa. On a daily basis, children get the subtle but clear message that they are a part of a larger community and that they see one other as ‘one’ instead of seeing those outside their rooms as ‘the others’. The glass walls are also a perfect reflection of our open, respectful and transparent culture.
- What is your most memorable moment in your years of teaching/ being a principal?
My most memorable moment being a teacher and principal has always been the K2 Graduation Day. During every graduation ceremony, you can say that I am the happiest and proudest person in the hall, other than the parents, of course. I am forever grateful to parents for giving us the privilege to be a part of their children’s growing up years.
- How do you think parents can better support their children in their early years education journey?
Developing a cordial and respectful parent-teacher relationship is paramount to ensuring that teachers can focus on their teaching, amongst many other benefits. Parents can better support their children by being supportive of their children’s pre-school teachers and wholeheartedly embracing them as trusted partners in the care and education of their children.