“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
This well-known saying by Mahatma Gandhi was shared with the largest ever cohort of graduating early childhood students from KLC International Institute (KLCII) in a ceremony held at the RELC International Hotel on 12 May 2018.
And the quote came from none other than one of the top students in her valedictorian speech at the event for 1,219 students. The ceremony was hosted by KLCII for graduates of various EC courses ranging from Fundamental, through WSQ Higher Certificate and WSQ Advanced Certificate to WSQ Professional Diploma with durations from 3 months to 30 months.
The big number of graduates will certainly of a long way to meet the demand for more qualified and trained teachers in the EC sector.
Ms Chan Li Teng, the top student who graduated with the WSQ Specialist Diploma in Early Childhood Care and Education, quoted the saying to encourage her peers to embrace continuing professional development (CPD).
She said CPD helps “to develop us as teachers, and to provide a pathway so that we can all become better at what we do and enjoy many meaningful routes to progression”. She urged them to enhance their knowledge, skills and practices “to meet the demands of the changing world of education as the 21st Century progresses”.
Ms Chan’s call to her peers echoed the challenge put to the graduates in the opening speech by Ms Marion Mony, KLCII’s Vice Principal (English Programmes), to continue to seek higher knowledge and professionalism.
Quoting the African proverb “it takes a village to raise child”, she said:
“It takes a “village” to have stimulating conversations, to learn from one another, to encourage, to weather the storms of life, and spur one another to move on to the next height of our profession. If we want that kind of support, the place to begin is with ourselves.”
Ms Mony said an effective teacher would want to seek collaboration and to grow in the profession. She suggested that they join or form their own networks of professional friends and set up chat groups, to share, explore and support each other.
She concluded her speech with a quote from Roy T. Bennett, author of the book “The Light in the Heart”:
“Never stop dreaming,
never stop believing,
never give up,
never stop trying, and
never stop learning.”