Inspiring Teachers Awards: Mdm Chen encouraged me when I did badly in my O-levels

Thanks to his Concord Primary School Chinese teacher Mdm Chen, Shi Yang is now pursuing a diploma in Engineering Systems & Management at Republic Polytechnic.

After doing badly for his O-levels, he dared not face his teacher whom he had kept in contact with after his Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE).

However, with her constant encouragement and support, Shi Yang was able to buckle down and is now pursuing his diploma.

Shi Yang has always been grateful to Mdm Chen and tries to catch up with her once in a while over coffee.

"Every year, I will always wish her a Happy Birthday to show my gratitude," he said.

Here is Shi Yang's entry for the Samsung-Stomp Inspiring Teachers Awards:

"Mdm Chen was my primary school Chinese language teacher. Most students dislike the Chinese language but Mdm Chen always tried to make the lesson fun with games involved!

"She also shared that she disliked Chinese too when she was in Primary school and her favourite Chinese teacher changed her mindset so she herself became a teacher too. Some of the classmates in my class who really disliked Chinese began to like it too and it was all thanks to Mdm Chen.

"Mdm Chen may appear fierce but she genuinely cares for her students. When I did not do well for Chinese, she stayed back twice a week during her free days to coach me and my other classmates.

"The rest of her week was taken up by CCAs and meetings plus other work as well. Teachers indeed wear many hats!

"Sometimes, when I have difficulty in other subjects, she would try her best to help me with those too.

"Furthermore, she encouraged me not to be so negative and not to compare myself to others.

"When I did not meet my target for PSLE, I was dejected and Mdm Chen was the only teacher who consoled me.

"Over the years, we have kept in contact and whenever she was free, she would try to coach me in my secondary school work as well.

"When I did badly in my O-levels and ended up in ITE, my whole world came crashing down. I did not even dare to face her and when she finally knew my results, she did not despise me unlike others but instead she said: 'Many of my students who studied in ITE actually learn more life skills and are more humble.'

"Because of her encouragement, I had the courage to face reality and moved on. Now I'm in a polytechnic.

"Mdm Chen may not have made a difference to all students but she definitely made a difference to this one starfish-me! 十年树木,百年树人,it's not easy to mould a person and it takes the whole village to raise a child.

"I'm glad I met a teacher like her who has impacted my life greatly and I'm really grateful!

"Here is a heartfelt message for her:

You make me everything I am.

Thank you for taking the time,

Thank you for showing me the way,

And thank you for being there when I needed your guidance,

Thank you for staying back on your free days to help me with my work!


Thank you for your guiding hand,

Thank you for making my dreams come true,

You're an extraordinary teacher,

And I hope you're as proud of me

As I am proud of you.


Thank you for giving me hope,

Thank you for showing me the right path with your wisdom! 

Thank you for all your contributions to the education system,

Thank you for being my Teacher!

"I salute you and wish you a very Happy Teachers' Day!"

When contacted, Mdm Chen, who is now teaching at North Oaks Primary School, said she is very proud of how far Shi Yang has come.

Despite serving 15 years in the teaching force, Mdm Chen still remembers Shi Yang's journey.

"He was very upset after his O-levels and kept comparing himself to others," she said.

"I told him that academic achievements cannot measure one's worth. 

"There is nothing to be sad about, life will always have setbacks.

"It is encouraging to see he's doing well in poly."

Have a teacher you want to nominate? Find out how to join the Samsung-Stomp Inspiring Teachers Awards here.

Read all entries for the contest here.