Teachers’ Appreciation Dinner

Posted on: October 9th, 2013 by admin No Comments

Happy Teachers’ Day! Happy Teachers’ Day!

Greetings were exchanged among the teachers and guests from the Education Division at the Teachers’ Appreciation Dinner on Thursday 5 September 2013. The dinner held at the YWCA Fort Canning Lodge for some 160 diners saw teachers from the Child Development Centres, Student Care Centres, YMCA School and Tertiary coming together to celebrate Teachers’ Day as well as 100 years of education at the YMCA of Singapore (YMCA).  To remind the staff and guests of the rich legacy of YMCA Education, the theme for the night was HERITAGE. It was a sight to behold the teachers dressed as characters of the past like the samsui woman, complete with the red head gear, a trishaw rider in singlet and the signature “Good Morning” towel around his neck, a British governor in military uniform of the 19th century, a Chinese businessman in one-piece ankle-length changshan, a 19th century songstress in cheongsam and a few maids in colourful samfoos.

Our staff charmed us in their very colourful and vibrant Punjabi suits, sarees, baju kurung and the sarong kebaya.  Ornaments of gold, silver and precious gems peppered their outfits making the various Singapore traditional wear a cultural feast for the eyes.

The teachers and guests had a field time at the photo booth having their photographs taken in different funny poses, adorning themselves with accessories provided like shocking pink curly hair and gigantic spectacles. A school bell used in the 1940s to assemble the students was rung loud and clear to signal the start of the night’s proceedings.

To start off the programme, everyone sang “Welcome to the family, we’re glad that you have come to share your life with us….” to the accompaniment of a three-piece band. The different items flowed seamlessly from the speech and opening prayer by the Guest-of-Honour, Mr Peter Tay, a Director of the YMCA Board and Chairman of the Audit Committee to the table games and performances by teachers and staff. The entertainment segment commenced with everyone participating in the Line Dance to the tune of “YMCA” led by teachers and staff from YMCA School.

The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the inaugural Teachers’ Awards to six teachers, two each from the Children Development Centres, the Student Care Centres and YMCA School. It was a pleasant surprise for the award recipients as they were not informed earlier of their award. This annual award is given to outstanding teachers who demonstrate a deep passion for teaching and learning; who motivate, challenge and inspire students to believe in themselves and who show commitment to the character, moral and citizenship development of the students. The recipients were visibly touched as the citations were read out about their contributions. The awards were presented by Mrs Magdalene Sik, a Director of the YMCA Board and Vice Chairman of the YMCA Education Committee.

The event ended with everyone singing “Make Me A Channel Of Your Peace” and giving each other a pat on the back! The Master of Ceremony very aptly closed by saying, “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”

This brings to mind the words of Mr Stephen Loh, President of the YMCA Board in his letter of appreciation to all teachers: “There are many good teachers who do what they are employed to do – they teach.  You have done more than teach. You have mentored. You have encouraged, supported and nurtured. You have opened minds and stirred imaginations. You have inspired.”