Upper Primary, Secondary & JC Level – Bukit Panjang

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Dear parent,

As time goes by, my teaching style continues to evolve in the hope that it will become more efficient and effective. That translates to time and cost savings for everyone. Students learn new knowledge quicker, and they are more likely to retain what they have learned.

You and your child will find that my teaching style is one that is kept simple and direct. I believe that by keeping things simple, we avoid confusion and can help the child build a stronger foundation. We may then build upon that foundation when faced with more complex challenges. By adopting a direct approach, we get to the heart of the lesson quickly. As the demands of the English syllabus continue to grow, we no longer have the luxury of beating around the bush. Being direct helps save precious time. Based on past experience, students tend to improve a lot faster when we can pinpoint key learning points and impart what they need to know quickly.

My students know me to be a strict tutor. By being strict, the overall discipline of the students improve. With higher discipline, they tend to pay more attention during lessons and they complete their home practices with higher consistency. Understand that a tuition class is not a play group. If the child does not improve, there are undesirable consequences. A child may not make it to his favorite school. If he is taking his O Levels, he may not qualify for this dream course.

However, being strict doesn’t necessarily mean that my teaching approach is inflexible. For example, if homework is not done but there are valid reasons, I do not reprimand the child. Most parents who know my teaching style also work with me to moderate the homework workload so as to reduce the stress levels of the children whenever necessary.

In fact, although based on sound teaching principles, I find that my teaching style tends to be more fluid. Often, I find myself tweaking and adjusting my teaching style and materials based on the profile of the students. For example, if I find that a child is not following my lessons, I will deliberately choose simpler words and speak slower so that the child can understand me better.

Although strict, it would be a mistake to think of my teaching style as “stiff” or “wooden”. On the contrary, it is more “adaptive” in nature. This means that I do not firmly believe in and rely on any single teaching method. I grew up with teachers believing strongly in rote learning. We were made to memorize passages and even entire essays. From the feedback that I gather from my students, I have reason to believe that rote learning is still heavily practiced in some schools.

You will not see me enforcing such inflexible approaches in my teaching. Although rote learning can be useful (e.g. expanding vocabulary), having memorization skills alone do not equip our students for challenges that they will inevitably face in life. Instead, students should focus more on developing skills that they can use for life – strong discipline, a healthy work ethic, good organization and planning skills, etc. I do my best to incorporate such facets into my teaching.

You can probably already tell by now, that I adopt a mid to long term view when it comes to a child’s education. Congruent to this view, I do not reprimand a child when he does not do well in a single test or exam. Of course, that is assuming the child plays his part by putting in the necessary effort. In this situation, I do not put a child down for two primary reasons.

Firstly, I do not wish to discourage the child and secondly, I do not wish to kill a child’s joy of learning. In doing so, a child learns important life lessons. He learns that even though he has tried his best, he may not always obtain the desired results. More importantly, he learns how to cope with failure and becomes more resilient to life’s relentless challenges.

Parents who work with me know that I although I value academic results, I also stress the importance of healthy learning. I do not believe in the blind pursuit of academic excellence. I also think it is unwise to sign up for tuition simply due to peer pressure. Learning is a journey and not a destination. The overall learning attitude of a child should be one that is balanced and healthy.

The overall learning attitude of a child should be one that is balanced and healthy.

I have even changed the logo of this website to reflect this attitude. It says, “Personal Best English Tuition“. Although every parent would like their child to shine and score As or A*, the reality is, not every child will do so. Besides, having lower academic intelligence doesn’t mean a child doesn’t have strengths in other non-academic areas. Therefore, I always encourage my students to strive to beat their own personal best. If they can achieve that, maybe I’ll reward them with a little prize. But deep down, they know that the real reward is having the satisfaction of achieving something that they have never been able to achieve before. It doesn’t have to come in the form of an “A”. It can be that first 30/40 continuous writing. It can be that first B4. Even though it’s a B4, it is still very much a personal achievement. And from there, we continue to strive for better results.

I hope that this letter has helped you gain an insight into my teaching style and methodologies. If you would like me to teach your child, simply get in touch by giving me a call or sending me an email and we will discuss further.

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter.

Hear from you soon!

 

Sincerely,

Mr. Chow

English Tutor in Bukit Panjang