Home Based Learning- Hear From Our Educator, Esther Ng

<span id="hs_cos_wrapper_name" class="hs_cos_wrapper hs_cos_wrapper_meta_field hs_cos_wrapper_type_text" style="" data-hs-cos-general-type="meta_field" data-hs-cos-type="text" >Home Based Learning- Hear From Our Educator, Esther Ng</span>

Many schools have taken to home-based learning with the latest phase 2 heightened alert. While families and children are affected by this change, our educators have had to adapt to this bumpy transition while creating meaningful learning experiences for the children. Not only do they have to plan the curriculum for multiple classes, but they also have to strategise on how to engage children while providing support. It is not an easy task, and we would like to use this opportunity to find out more from their perspective on home based learning and the challenges faced. Let’s also take this time to show our appreciation for their efforts in keeping our children well educated during these trying times! In this meet and greet session we speak to Esther to find out more.

1. Tell us more about yourself. What inspired you to become an educator?

I made a decision to move from the corporate world to the early childhood industry 6 years ago when my firstborn was 3 years old. My initial intentions were to understand deeper into a child's development and to become a better parent. However, I realised very soon that the work of an early childhood educator is meaningful and fulfilling. The ability to nurture young children and develop them into confident, resilient and self-motivated learners; learning and growing alongside them continue to drive me today. I have never looked back since.

2. Has HBL shifted the dynamics for you? Has HBL given you a different perspective on education? 

It was a new experience for the educators, children and families alike when schools had to close last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was a test of resilience and adaptability especially for the educators when we had to quickly pick up new skills to conduct lessons virtually. There were new challenges we faced such as finding ways to make our lessons interactive in order to engage the children through the screen, presenting our learning materials in an attractive and clear manner, not to mention being at the 'mercy' of Internet connection issues. HBL has affirmed the importance of family-school partnerships. Without the support of families, HBL will not be possible. 

3. What are some resources you utilise during this period?

Other than resources like e-books and videos found on the Internet, we made our own learning materials such as interactive e-books and videos of the teachers reading, dancing or demonstrating a learning experience. The EtonHouse online resource platform was useful as it served as a centralised site for us to upload learning materials and instructions to share with our families. 

4. What are ways educators and students can stay motivated during this time? Can you share some of your experiences?  

We need to have regular conversations with the children to help them understand the changes that are taking place due to the pandemic and to ensure they are coping well. Provide opportunities for the children to make sense of the changes and to express themselves through the different languages of children.  
While trying our best to stay safe and healthy, educators should continue to connect with each other by using online channels such as social media and chat platforms. Only if we are able to continue to share ideas, thoughts and challenges, can we keep ourselves in the right mind to support the children and the families during this time. 

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