Children develop motor skills and neural connections as they learn to move and engage in physical play. A strong believer that a healthy lifestyle starts in early childhood, Sim Da Wei, Physical Education Teacher at Middleton International School Tampines, became an educator to inspire future generations to keep fit through sports and other physical experiences.
In this Meet and Greet, we get to know Da Wei better and ask him the golden question that many want to know: why is it important for children to get moving.
Tell us more about yourself!
I am Da Wei, but the children usually call me Mr Sim. I am a Physical Education (PE) educator at Middleton Tampines. I love being around children, and their child-like innocence always brings a smile to my face. Outside school, I keep fit by heading to the gym four times a week. One thing people might not know about me: I have recently picked up baking as a hobby and have been attending classes regularly with my wife.
What inspired you to be an educator?
I have always wanted to work in a role that allows me to make an impact on society, and I believe that being an educator gives me the perfect opportunity to shape future generations. I enjoy working with children, and I hope to inspire each child to lead a healthy lifestyle through physical activity and sport and, at the same time, impart key virtues from sports that would help them succeed in other avenues of life.
Share with us one of the most memorable moments in your teaching career?
One of my most memorable moments as an educator was when a child I had taught for three years came up to me one day before graduating from Pre-School and said, “I wish you could continue to be my PE Teacher in my new school.” Hearing her words melted my heart and reaffirmed my decision to be an educator. Her drawing, which she gave me as a teacher’s day present, still sits on my desk daily as a reminder of why I do what I do.
What do you like about Middleton?
I love the international school environment here at Middleton; that is full of diversity. I enjoy communicating and working with children and colleagues of different nationalities. Doing so allows me to broaden my perspectives, learn more and appreciate other cultures.
Why is outdoor play important for children? How can parents keep children active?
Children learn to move and move to learn. Physical activity helps to stimulate physical and cognitive development in children as their brains form neural connections and coordination to help them solve movement problems (e.g., climbing up a stair, kicking a ball etc.).
Physical activity and outdoor play do not have to be complicated or structured because children are very knowledgeable about having fun and the freedom of exploration and choice motivates them further. To encourage children to stay active and get moving, you simply need to bring them outdoors, bring along some bright coloured balls and let them lead the way while you follow along for the ride.