Chong Yun Xin, Sarah Chin and Ng Wan Jee are students from the Anglo-Chinese Junior College Editorial Board. They interviewed Ms Hoe Mei Hwee, a recipient of the 17th Inspiring Chinese Language Teachers Awards, to find out what drives her passion to infuse spirit and zeal into teaching the Chinese language, as well as her unique methods in doing so.
As a Chinese language teacher, I think my biggest challenge is to help my students to see the beauty of the language, and feel confident in using it.
Anglo-Chinese Junior College (ACJC) teacher Ms Hoe Mei Hwee was surprised and deeply humbled when she was notified that she was a recipient of the 17th Inspiring Chinese Language Teachers Awards, a nation-wide award that recognises teachers who have shown exemplary effort in teaching the Chinese language and culture.
“Other teachers have also worked very hard for their students,” she said.
A passionate advocate for the Chinese language and culture, Ms Hoe noted: “Some students can be discouraged when encountering difficulties in learning the language. As a Chinese language teacher, I think my biggest challenge is to help my students to see the beauty of the language, and feel confident in using it. This is how I’ve tried to nurture their interest in Chinese.”
How does Ms Hoe do it? She puts the students at the heart of her teaching. She makes it a point to create and maintain a positive, upbeat atmosphere in class. She finds that this helps with their overall attitude to learning. She makes the language come alive through injecting musical elements, telling stories, playing games and talking about popular culture. All this encourages the students to participate more actively.
Ms Hoe takes special effort to nurture her students too – she gets them to set goals, and to work towards them. For every step of progress, no matter how small, Ms Hoe celebrates with the student. This has helped students become more confident. Her commitment to her students has translated into many success stories, something she takes great pride and joy in. Ms Hoe decided to be a teacher when she was just 15. Her teachers were constantly encouraging and caring for her, and since then, she has known how important it is for teachers to be good role models.
She has never looked back. Today she sees purpose in her calling, and has enjoyed her time as a teacher at ACJC since coming on board four years ago. “I’m very grateful to the ACJC family for the wealth of experience and care, and for the many sincere friendships,” said Ms Hoe who has been constantly spurred on to do better for her students.
“One Bible verse that resonates with me is 1 Corinthians 13:8, which states that ‘love never fails’. As a teacher, I really care for my students, as I believe that proper love and care can change someone.”
Indeed, a big heart is the driving force for the noble calling of teaching, even when the journey gets tough. To Ms Hoe, we say: “Congratulations and thank you for all your dedication and hard work!”
The Awards were organised by Lianhe Zaobao and co-organised by Singapore Chinese Middle School Teachers’ Association and Singapore Chinese Teachers’ Union, with strong endorsement by the Ministry of Education and sponsorship from the Lee Foundation.
Photo courtesy of Anglo-Chinese Junior College