About Cynthia Tan

An early childhood educator in Singapore, w interests in tech, communication, music, photography & all things aesthetically organized - whatever that means!

Who do you eat?

Though my blogs are now defunct as I figured I do better with < 140 characters on twitter, I still browse through the archives to find anecdotes of children I’ve worked with – they make me laugh and remember why I still persevere in what I’m doing. I’m sure you all have these funny moments with the children which you remember – I’ve been told by mentors to jot them down as they’ll serve me well down the road!

Here’s one I noted on August 22, 2009 while I was working with K2s.

Boy: Miss Cynthia, ‘who’ how to spell?

Me: What do you mean?

Boy: ‘Who’, the ‘who do you eat’ that ‘who’

Me: who do you eat?!

Girl (who was listening to the conversation all the while): HUH? ‘who do you eat?’ Do you mean ‘what do you eat’? You want to eat a person?!

Boy: (laughs loudly, yet…) no… ‘who’ do you eat… How to spell…

Me: w-h-o…

And I burst out in laughter looking at how confused my girl was, and how oddly amused the boy looked.

I haven’t looked at the sentence he wrote, have to check it out tomorrow


Paula Jorde Bloom on Self Mentoring

Something I found in my email which was thought provoking. Strikes a chord as to what we have gone through especially during the leadership courses and professional development. Wanted to share this with you.

(Link to article at the end of the post)

“….that we acquire wisdom by affirming our ignorance.  You know, all our adult lives we strive to become knowledgeable, competent, and skilled in our professional practice.  We pat ourselves on the back every time we achieve a new credential, certificate, or degree.  We applaud our achievements as though filling up the shopping cart of our accomplishments is the mark of an educated mind.  The irony is that true wisdom comes from the admission of our ignorance, from being open to discovering just how much we don’t know, how much we still need to learn….

“I believe the most vibrant people I’ve met in my life hold a transformational view of human growth and change.  They see themselves as active agents in describing, interpreting, and shaping their behavior.  In other words, they are self-mentors.  The great Roman philosopher Cicero is credited with saying, ‘No one can give you better advice than yourself.’  Well, that is the essence of being a self-mentor.  Self-mentoring means taking stock of the parts of yourself you relish and want to preserve as well as those you’d like to change or toss out the window.  It is a conscious commitment to move toward personal excellence by celebrating ignorance….

“Being a self-mentor rests squarely on our ability to be reflective and be self-aware.  It means knowing our needs and values, our strengths and limitations, our passions, and our idiosyncratic quirks.  It means having a deep appreciation of what makes each of us a unique specimen on this planet. On a deeper level, it means knowing how we react in different situations and accepting full responsibility for our feelings and actions.

“Being a self-mentor is difficult because it involves an ongoing assessment of our assumptions, beliefs, and values, and the mental models that shape our behavior and guide our actions.  It also means having a clear picture of our internal motives — those things that drive us to say what we say and do what we do.  Peeling away the layers of our motivations is not always a comfortable process, but it is necessary if our goal is to become a person known for personal integrity.”

via childcareexchange.com

Important Email about Commencement from David

(Please check your Wheelock mail for attachments)

Dear Soon-to-be Graduates of Cohort #1:

Greetings once again from the offices of Wheelock College in Singapore!

Rajes and I, and everyone connected with the Wheelock degree program, sincerely hope that all is well with you, following the successful completion of your studies, and that you are looking forward with enthusiasm to what we know will be an exciting Commencement ceremony on the afternoon of June 3, 2009.

Congratulations to each and every member of the Class of 2009!!

Since this will be the first graduating class from a degree program that links a foreign institution with a Singapore polytechnic, this occasion will be a most auspicious one for Wheelock and for you, and an historic one for the higher education community in Singapore.  I hope that your special day of celebration will be meaningful to you and to your family and friends.

Very important information follows.  Please read carefully, and save this document.

1.      First, there will be an important Commencement rehearsal for all graduates beginning promptly at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, June 2 in the Main Auditorium of the Convention Center.  This rehearsal is mandatory for all graduates.   We will be on hand to provide instructions and information on all aspects and logistics of the graduation program.

Please be on time for this crucial rehearsal!

The new (and very smart!) T-shirts, designed by Shuling and Jia Min, will also be handed out at the rehearsal.

2.     Time, date, place and related details of the Commencement:

Time and Place: 3 p.m. on Wednesday, June 3, in the Main Auditorium of the Convention Center. President Jackie Jenkins-Scott will be the Commencement speaker, and Dr. Joan Bergstrom, Director of the Center for International Education, Leadership, and Innovation, will be with us as well.  Key representatives from our partnering institutions, Ngee Ann Polytechnic and RTRC Asia, will also be part of the program.   Also speaking will be the student recipient of the Academic Achievement Award, who will be, as you know, the learner with the highest grade point average.  The Award to the Student Who Contributed Most to the Program will also be presented at the Commencement ceremony.

Please note that we are asking you to arrive at the Convention Center by 1:30 p.m. to check in, get suited in your graduation regalia, and prepare for the processional.  Please be sure to be on time.  For the ceremony, you will be seated in the Auditorium on the right-hand side facing the stage.  Susan Fedo will be responsible for the oversight of the student line-up, your procession into the Auditorium, your seating, and will also direct you on the logistics of getting you up to receive your diplomas (on the stage), and then off again.

Briefly, as you walk onto the stage, you will give a card with your full name to an assistant to Rajes, who will in turn hand the card to Rajes.  (The cards will insure accuracy and completeness.)   Rajes will be reading the names of all of the graduates.  Then, when you cross the stage, Dr. Bergstrom will first greet you with a handshake, and then President Jenkins-Scott will present you with a diploma booklet, but without your own diploma certificate secured inside.  A photo then will be taken of you and President Jenkins-Scott.  You will receive your actual diploma following the ceremony.  (More details on all of this at the rehearsal.)

Important: You should have visited Raffles Studio no later than the end of next week to be fitted for your gown.  If you have questions about this, please contact Rajes at 6460 6257.

We will be asking you to adhere to a standard dress code for the ceremony.  The recommended dress code by Raffles Studio is long sleeve white collar shirt, with black pants or skirt, and covered shoes.  Of course, you are welcome to wear your ethnic clothing as well.

Following the ceremony, students will stay in the Auditorium so that Raffles Studio staff members can organize you for a group class photograph on the stage.  You will not march with the Platform Party out of the Auditorium in the Processional.

3.     Parking for you and your family members and friends has been reserved at Carpark 56. Please do provide a copy of the attached carpark label and map to your family members and friends who will be driving to the campus on that day.  They need to place the carpark label on their car’s dashboard where it is clearly visible.

4.     Parents, family members and friends, along with special guests and dignitaries, will be ushered to Auditorium seating when they check in at the Convention Center.

5.     Parents and family members will be allowed to take photographs before and after the Commencement ceremony, but are being asked not to take photographs inside the Auditorium during the ceremony itself. As you know, Raffles Studio professionals will be taking photographs within the Auditorium, and will be making available these photograph packages later in various price ranges, including individual photos with each student standing with President Jenkins-Scott.

6.    Student greeters and ushers are being recruited from cohort #2 to help during Commencement Day.  They will be assisted by Wheelock, Ngee Ann and RTRC Asia staff.  We are grateful to all of them.

7. A reception will follow the ceremony in the foyer of the Convention Center.  This will be an opportunity for everyone–classmates, faculty and staff,  families, friends and visitors–to mingle, share memories, take photos, and enjoy the refreshments.

I am looking forward to seeing you on June 2 and, of course, for the Big Day on June 3!


David Fedo