When I first started as a special needs teacher in 2013, I had no experience working with children with special needs. All I had was a desire to work with children and two completely irrelevant degrees. This troubled me greatly as I knew nothing about teaching the children.
Before I got the job, I remember sharing my concern with the panel of interviewers and asked if there were any courses in Singapore which I could go for.
I was told that there was a course that was recognised by the school and it was an Advanced Diploma In Early Childhood Intervention (Special Needs). However, they also shared that only teachers who have at least two or three years of experience would be sent for this course. Hence, I would be given on–the–job and in–house trainings for the time being.
When I came out of the interview, I told God, “God, I know nothing! If You give me this job, You’ve got to be with me! You will have to personally teach me how to teach the children, and give me all the skills, wisdom and knowledge that I need. I can only depend on You!”
And that was the way it went. I kept praying the same prayer every day as I had to depend on Him daily. I had no experience but I have God with me. And He gave me favour with the parents who were in class daily with their children. They loved me, trusted me and taught me many things in my first year. God also granted me so much wisdom such that my trainers could not believe that I was a new teacher.
Before the June holidays in 2013, I decided to ask the manager of the Early Intervention Programme for Infants & Children (EIPIC) about the advanced diploma programme again. However, her reply was the same as my interviewers. They would only send teachers who had at least two to three years of experience.
When I went out of the room, I said a simple prayer telling God that since He placed me in this job, I was going to trust Him to open the doors for me.
I forgot about this prayer until I was called into her office in August that same year. She told me that she was going to send me for the course!
Everyone around me told me how “lucky” I was to be sent for the course in my first year of work, and how this had never happened before.
When everyone stood up to introduce themselves on the first day of the course, I was the only person in the class with only half a year’s experience in the job while the rest had been teaching for at least two years!
God opened doors for me which no one else had gone before! Amazingly, the theme of the year in 2013 was “The Key of David” — the year of opened doors. After this, more good news followed.
Over the course of two years, there were so many times I felt overwhelmed by the assignments and work. I would ask God for wisdom and declare favour with the examiners who were going to read and grade my work. I kept confessing that I am the head and not the tail, above and not beneath, even though I had the least experience in the class.
In May 2016, I graduated and praise God, I received the “Most Outstanding Academic Performance Award” from the National Council of Social Service!
God has taken someone like me who was the least, to be the head and not the tail. He helped me produce quality essays that I could not even recognise my own work sometimes.
It was a surreal moment when I walked on the stage to receive the award — not because of the applause I was getting, but because I knew with all my heart and soul that it could only be God.
God’s grace did not stop there. Recently, I was offered a promotion to become a Senior Teacher. Again, I was undeserving of this promotion as it was typically offered to those who had at least five years of experience but I was only three–and–a–half years into my job. When asked, my bosses told me that I carried a “certain kind of presence”. Though they did not know what this “presence” was, I knew it was the presence of God with me. It is certainly God who has accelerated my career. Praise Jesus!