We feature our tutors across the PAL Learning universe and share about their backgrounds, teaching styles, and accomplishments.
PAL Learning is a new edu-tech platform in Singapore that offers private tuition for primary school children. We offer over 35 different programmes across 6 primary school levels. We seek to disrupt the private tuition industry in Singapore for primary school children by providing a safer, convenient and more accessible format of learning through online group-based tuition with qualified and experienced tutors in small groups of up to 5 children only; and complemented by e-materials.
This week, we speak with Ms Sophia Rozle, a PAL Learning tutor about her teaching philosophy and accomplishments.
Tell me more about yourself. Who is Sophia? I have been working with children as an educator since 2009. It is my personal mission in life to give back to the young generation and make a difference in their lives through nurturing their learning and being an inspiration. Growing up in primary school, I used to be an underachieving pupil who needed a lot of support and guidance in my academics. The person who motivated me to do my best at that time was my Primary 6 form teacher. She was very patient and dedicated in helping me and a few of my classmates catch up with our learning by pulling us to the back of the classroom during independent work to provide extra guidance and staying back with us during recess and after school. Her compassion and dedication inspired me to become an educator just like her – giving every child undivided and deserving attention in their learning. Thus, I have always preferred to work closely with low progress pupils and also pupils with learning difficulties and special needs as I can understand and resonate with their struggles in learning and would like to maximise their academic potential.
Why did you decide to become a teacher at PAL Learning? Every child deserves undivided attention in learning. I prefer to teach small classes as I get to give more attention to each child and tailor my teaching style to their learning needs. I like that PAL Learning classes are small with just the right teacher-to-pupil ratio to encourage pupil participation and interaction, which in turn, leads to a more enhanced learning experience for every child. Most children nowadays are tech-savvy, making the facilitation of e-learning easier for teachers. Each child’s learning style is different and there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all teaching method. Though conducted online, classes in PAL Learning are equipped with hard copy as well as online worksheets and additional learning resources to cater to every child’s learning needs. I enjoy using the interactive whiteboard in my lessons as it allows me to engage even the quietest and most shy pupil in class. Every child has the opportunity to contribute actively to his/her learning.
What is your teaching philosophy? Education is a powerful tool to transform lives. This is a philosophy that I always share with my pupils, especially those from underprivileged backgrounds, as I hope that they can understand the importance of education as a catalyst to change their lives. Growing up in an underprivileged household myself, I learnt that having good academic background opens up more doors to better employment and more advancement opportunities that can be life-changing. Having a growth mindset is also a philosophy that I always instill in my pupils - always believe that through hard work, perseverance, and resilience, we can sharpen our knowledge, skills and talents and achieve our full potential.
Describe your most memorable teaching moment. I used to have a pupil who disliked eating fruits and vegetables, or proper meals with rice and protein. His mother informally shared that he would only eat processed foods like chicken nuggets, fish fingers and unhealthy snacks during mealtimes. His unhealthy eating habits went on for quite some time that it was taking a toll on his weight and health. I took it as an opportunity to educate the class during Form Teacher Guidance Period about the positive outcomes of eating balanced meals and the negative consequences of eating too much processed foods. For class parties, I ensured that everyone (including teachers) contributes at least one type of fruit or healthy snack. As our class had an existing class reward system in place, I awarded additional points to pupils who consumed healthy foods at least three times a week during recess time. During their recess time (usually teachers would sit together with their class), I would also ensure that I was modelling exemplary eating habits by eating whole foods that are balanced and nutritious. It was easy for me to advocate as I am a personal believer of “food is either medicine or poison”. After a few weeks of positive reinforcements and walking the talk, I noticed that there was a change in his eating habits. He started to eat salads and drink fresh fruit juice from the canteen in addition to the usual fried finger foods that he brought from home. It helped a lot that the school canteen sells cut fruits, salads and freshly pressed fruit juice. Occasionally he would go up to me to proudly show his healthy purchase from the stall and say with a smile, “See, Ms Sophia, I’m eating a fruit salad today.” His mother later shared that he would request for cut fruits and Caesar Salads (his new favourite) during dinnertime. He also started to eat more proper meals at home, eating most of the food that she had prepared. It was then when I realised that teachers are the genuine influencers of the young generation. It warms my heart knowing that I played a part in positively influencing a young boy’s eating habits.
What do you enjoy doing your free time? I’m a foodie – I love cooking and eating! Cooking can be very therapeutic for the soul. It is also a way for me to experiment new cuisines and express my creativity. I spend most of my free time browsing the internet and my grandmother’s recipe books for recipes to try out. I especially love recipes by Sarah Carey (from Everyday Food), FullyRawKristina and Marion Grasby – they are really easy to prepare for amateurs like me and most of the ingredients in the recipes are already available in my pantry. I don’t want to be eating the same kind of food all time so usually I will try to cook something different every other day for my family. My favourite cuisines are Chinese, Japanese, Western and vegan. I just made a creamy pasta dish the other day that was entirely vegan (made out of mushrooms, soy protein nuggets, spiral zucchini, nutritional yeast and cashew cheese) – it was so tasty and satiating that even my meat-loving husband who hates anything vegan asked for more!
Describe yourself in one word. Compassionate
PAL Learning combines the best of both worlds. We provide convenience and savings for parents while ensuring that children receive tuition from tutors with specialised teaching methods and materials.
Parents can benefit from a home-based learning format that also keeps our children safe. There is no commute and no gathering with other children in small, enclosed environments.