2nd RUNNER-UP – BELINDA FONG
What I love about my job? Let me see…
I am a stay-at-home mum of two girls, ages 10 and 3. I hold a Bachelor’s
Degree in Mass Communications and International Relations from Winona State
University, Minnesota, USA. I am currently pursuing my Masters of Communications,
specialising in Integrated Marketing Communications from University Sains
Malaysia. I have my days full from ferrying the girls to their respective schools, and
back home for their lunch and homework. After a tiny bit of rest, we’re all out again
for the girls’ tuition classes and extra activities. Then, it’s back home for dinner and
sleep. Sleep for the girls, but not for me as I have to complete my assignments as
well as attempt to scratch out a few pages of my thesis, plus make an effort to tidy
and clean up the house. The next day, it’s an early one again with preparation for
school, cooking of breakfast and lunch for the girls and hubby before we all go off on
our separate ways to school and work.
This is an everyday occurrence, and according to every single person I talk to,
it is already a super-full day, enough to drive anyone crazy, what with all the ferrying,
homework, cooking, housework, play sessions, assignments, thesis-writing as well
as being the sounding board for the husband when he comes home from work to
rant and rave. If that is not enough, I am also a Part-Time Facilitator at VITAL YEARS
Bandar Puteri Puchong. People say that I am definitely asking for trouble, heading
towards craziness – “What? Don’t you have enough to do? You already have two
demanding kids of your own, and here you are, spending precious time with even
more demanding children!!”
It’s true, I am spending my precious time with very demanding children in the
VITAL YEARS centre, but you know what? I enjoy every minute of it! Every morning,
after sending my girls off to school, I arrive at the centre and instantly, I am drowned
with hugs and delighted calls of “Teacher Belinda is here!” ‘”Good morning, Teacher
Belinda!’” and the always-popular ‘”Hello, Teacher Belinda!!” I always look forward to
seeing the children’s happy faces whenever I come, and their happy faces coupled
with excited goodbye waves when they go home.
So, what do I love about my job as a Part-Time Facilitator in VITAL YEARS?
There are actually many, many reasons but I will only elaborate on the two most
First and foremost, the children are the core reason why I love doing this.
Teaching needs a lot of patience, but in most cases, teaching is a one-way
communication where the teacher imparts the knowledge and the child receives it. It
is then up to the child herself to retain the information through practice and
memorisation or, in most cases, just forget it altogether. However, in VITAL YEARS, we
teachers, do not teach, but instead facilitate as we are helping the child to open up
her natural ability to read and discover. So, here, we make sure that there is a twoway
open communication between the facilitator and the child. We facilitate and
guide them to discover themselves through the world of reading, as well as through
social interaction with each other and the facilitators. I find this really rewarding when
I see a shy and quiet child eventually blooming into a beautiful, confident and
exuberant child after her stint in VITAL YEARS.
Interacting with the children is a highlight of my day as it keeps me young and
constantly on my toes because these children really know how to tell funny stories
and sometimes, present you with shocking situations that just leaves you stunned
and speechless! I remember a situation when after story time was done, one little
boy announced loudly to his friends that his Mummy had hairy toes, just like the hairy
monster in the story book! So, when his Mummy came to pick him up for home, we
couldn’t help but discreetly look if his Mummy really had hairy toes. Unfortunately for
him, his friends came to have a look too, and chattered loudly among themselves
that “yes, his Mummy DOES have hairy toes!” It was a hair-raising moment!
However, to this day, we thank God that his Mummy did not hear this discovery.
The second reason why I love this job is the connection I have with my
colleagues. They are just so caring, and in working together, we have created this
bond that unites us, and is so apparent that even the children commented to us that
they want to have friends who are best friends like their teachers. It is really
important to have a good support team and caring friends at work as it will make you
feel more excited to go to work the next day. I love the way we laugh, share stories
and experiences, and even bring food (either homemade or bought) to share. Being
among the children also helps us to be more open, and less calculative as to who
does what, and who should be doing what and how.
Many people are wondering why am I not putting my degree and upcoming
Masters into better use to gain better financial standing, which of course would
guarantee a more stable lifestyle for my family. However, after much reflection, I
realise that I am actually at a good stage in my life, especially being in this job. I
have no stress, as I get to interact with children and laugh myself silly at their antics
and jokes. At the end of the day, I get my cuddles, hugs and kisses from the
children, and lovely camaraderie from my workmates. Where else can I get this?
This is what I love about my job!
Name: Belinda Fong Chong Lynn
Teaching Status: Part-time Facilitator (Daily)
Centre: VITAL YEARS Bandar Puteri Puchong