For teachers to stay relevant, they need to collaborate and keep learning.
Contributed By Joshua Lok
Sustainability is not just a word that applies to businesses or environmental efforts; in this age of increasing demands on educational standards, it applies to the academic field as well. In conjunction with Teachers’ Day earlier this month, Edunet held a talk-cum-tea reception for educators on Aug. 27 at Suntec Singapore. The featured speaker was Jacqueline Wong, the founder of Sequoia Consulting Sustainability Institute.
Wong shared the floor with the participants, which allowed them to voice their own views and raise questions. The interactive setting proved to be an interesting and positive one, as fellow experts and educators with different experiences were able to learn, share and express the difficulties they face in their own fields. One participant noted, “Sustainability is vital in today’s world; we all have the ability to create something out of nothing, but really, keeping it alive is another issue.”
Additionally, good things cannot be achieved by just one party; teachers need to learn to collaborate with and learn from each other so as to stay relevant. Most importantly, one should never forget to take care of himself or herself.
Wong also threw the participants two thought-provoking questions: “What do you stand for as an educator?” and “What can we achieve in the community?” The questions prompted those in attendance to think about their core values as they seek to make an impact in the classrooms.
Wong reiterated the importance of “FITSO principle”: Fit in and Stand Out. Teaching should no longer be about the what, but the why, she explained, quoting architect and designer William McDonough, “Designing renders visible our hopes and dreams; it is the first signal of human intentions.”
She concluded her session by listing out the five qualities educators should possess: positive emotions, high engagement, resonant relationships, a sense of meaning and accomplishment. Sequoia Institutes’ lifelong vision, said Wong, is “S.E.E.D.S—Social Intelligence, Emotion Intelligence, Energy Management, Development Orientation, Sustainability” and explained how each element fits in with the company’s mission in helping other organizations. The key takeaway from her message: even as educators, we should learn to ask questions.
It was a fruitful session, and the attendees gleaned many learning points. Additionally, the exchange of experiences and thoughts among the attendees provide a value-add. Michael Wong, a private tutor, said, “It got me thinking—apart from academic competitiveness, what can we do differently to engage the students?”