Nurturing Happy Kids in the Classroom – Ms Maddie Wong

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In Ms Maddie Wong’s Primary 2 class, the Seven Habits of Happy Kids are not only talked about in a theoretical way during the Form Teacher Guidance Period. She helps the students’ practise them in their daily routines, such as giving them opportunities to think win-win in completing group tasks and encouraging them to seek first to understand, then to be understood when resolving issues.

Ms Wong also finds opportunities to reinforce the Habits during her English and Mathematics lessons. The classroom learning environment is filled with reminders and messages for the students to practise the Habits in all aspects of school life.

“I believe that the Seven Habits lay the foundation for my students’ character development,” explains Ms Wong. “I encourage my students to see mistakes and imperfection as part of the learning process. This way, they are not afraid to fail and try again. It builds confidence and resilience in them. And that brings out the best in them.”

As evidence of how the Seven Habits have impacted her students, some of her students have received the GOTCHA! Award for displaying the Seven Habits outside the classroom. Her students showed proactiveness and the virtue of responsibility by picking up posters which had fallen off the level noticeboard and putting them back without being told. Her students also displayed honesty by returning money that was found in the canteen.

Ms Wong believes in building strong partnerships with parents. One parent said, “She has been helping my son to be become more disciplined. I thank her for her love and patience to my son.”

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Another grateful parent said, “I like the way Ms Wong keeps us updated about everything with respect to our child’s learning achievements and gaps. She motivates my child to move out of his comfort zone and develop himself.”

Ms Wong is also the school’s coordinator for Education in Career Guidance (ECG). As the coordinator, she manages students’ accounts for the Myskillsfuture portal and conducts sharing sessions for teachers and students in using the portal. She also works with the School Counsellor on follow-up ECG activities for some Senior Primary students.

In 2019, together with the Mr Mohan, Head of Department for Character and Citizenship Education (CCE), she revamped the school’s approach to ECG by starting a Career Awareness Month in May. The aim was to help students to be aware of different career options and, more importantly, to develop self-awareness of their strengths and interests. Ms Wong and Mr Mohan approached the Parent Support Group, alumni members and other organisations to put up career talks, booths and exhibitions for the students. The event was well-received by the students as they had a chance to try out various hands-on activities and at the same time learn about the different occupations and the skillsets that were required.

For her efforts and contributions, Ms Wong received the Inspiring CCE Teacher Award in 2019. She sums it up this way, “Teaching is rewarding for me because I get to witness the sparkle in the children’s eyes when they experience success, no matter how small it may be.”