Making a difference in our work

“…..that every student that passes through our hands will be an outstanding one.”

This statement at the end of our school video shown at the school anniversary celebration last Sat caught my eye.

It really caused me to reflect and to really see the difference I can make to each student that ‘passes through my hands’. In that statement is also the sense of responsibility that we have during our ‘watch’ towards the students that have been entrusted in our hands. And it is also about ownership. About seeing that each of us educators have been positioned in our schools, classes and appointments for a specific time and purpose and there is a sense of duty towards helping our students achieve their fullest potential.

I believe that for educators, a job is not just a job. And I do not want to fall into the trap of letting the work that I do become so routine that I lose the sense that I can really make a difference to every student who comes to me. The mundane things that I do …..like chatting with Sec 1 students and international students to see if they have any issues ….. that short 15 minutes I spend with them is the opportunity I have to connect and to touch lives and to leave something with them. Not all of them will need counselling, but every one of them could do with knowing that someone in the school genuinely loves them and cares for them and is there for them should they ever need help.

I recall times where healthcare professionals have made a difference in the course of doing ‘mundane work’. I was particularly touched by 2 doctors when I was having my last miscarriage in Jan. The first being Dr Ian Yeo from the National Eye Centre. I was there for my regular eye check-up when I started bleeding. He took the effort to personally call my gynae at KKH to tell him that I would be going down so that I could bypass the queue. And he also shared his personal experience that he and his wife went through. It was very reassuring and really touched my heart, that he cared enough to do all this when I was feeling so frightened. It made a great difference to me that day and I will always remember his kindness. The second doctor is my gynae Dr Han How Chuan at KKH. It was his operation day, and he came out from OT just to see how I was when he could have just left it to another doctor on duty to attend to me. I was very touched that he came, despite his busyness. These are doctors in govt hospitals who have tons of patients to attend to everyday. Yet they each showed that they cared for their patients beyond just doing their job.

This experiences remind me that in our line of work, we must not lose the personal touch in the midst of our busyness. When I am busy, things sometimes become tasks that need to be done and checked off. I pray that the Lord will enlarge my heart, that I may move more and more with His compassion and to be His hands and feet where He has placed me in my workplace.

Love this song ‘One Little Heartbeat at a Time’ by Steven Curtis Chapman. Really speaks to me as an educator and also as a parent in this call I have to raise the next generation.

One Little Heartbeat at a Time

You’re up all night with a screaming baby
You run all day at the speed of life
And every day you feel a little bit less
like the beautiful woman you are

So you fall into bed when you run out of hours
and you wonder if anything worth doing got done
Well maybe you just don’t know
or maybe you’ve forgotten

That you, you are changing the world
one little heartbeat at a time
Making history with every touch and every smile
Oh you, you may not see it now
but I believe that time will tell
how you, you are changing the world
one little heartbeat at a time

With every, “I know you can do it”
and every tear that you kiss away
So many little things that seem to go unnoticed
they’re just like the drops of rain
over time, they become a river

And you, you are changing the world
one little heartbeat at a time
Making history with every touch and every smile
Oh you, you may not see it now
but I believe that time will tell
how you, you are changing the world
one little heartbeat at a time