The accidental teacher

27 Aug 2018

Editorial featured SP’s Senior Academic Mentor, Ms Kwa Lay Ping, who is also the first lecturer from a polytechnic to receive the President’s Award for Teachers last year. Ms Kwa, who has been teaching in SP for 18 years, shared that she never thought she would build a career in this field. When she was a master’s student in communications in the University of Southern California in 1999, she took up the challenge and helped her professor teach a class. It was then she realised that teaching is one of the toughest jobs, and developed a respect for teachers. The following year, she took up a lecturing job at SP and taught media-related modules. Her student feedback score for the first semester was terrible, but that did not stop her from working harder to improve the learning experiences of the next batch of students. Ms Kwa also believes that students need to learn to be comfortable with discomfort, and sets the bar high to challenge them. SP’s Diploma in Media & Communication student, Josin Chee, shared that when they needed help, Ms Kwa would guide them without disclosing the answer, and would also probe them to explore topics more deeply by asking difficult questions. Despite her tough reputation, Ms Kwa enjoys a strong rapport with her students. She takes an interest in their lives, and stays actively connected with them through various social media platforms. Some of her ex-students who are now media professionals will also message and share with her interesting findings, and she is happy to learn and exchange ideas with them. Ms Kwa added that with the rise of artificial intelligence and other new technologies, one needs to keep learning so they won’t become irrelevant, especially in the ever-changing media industry. 
[The New Paper, online]
TNP_The accidental teacher

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