Leading a Team of W@W Teachers – The Journey
I was first promoted to the role of Senior Teacher then to a Middle Leader, then into my current post. To be promoted to Senior Teacher, I needed to show that I had mastered the W@W curriculum and have a good reputation with parents and students alike. In addition, contributing to the organisation to better its processes and curriculum, among other things.
As we are a fast-paced organisation, there are many processes which a new teacher needs to be familiar with in a short period of time. Mentoring and leading a new teacher requires me to size him or her up and strategically instruct, check in, and have conversations with the individual to ensure that they are acclimatised to the processes smoothly.
As we have a diverse teaching team, one thing I have realised is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Although there are many training modules which help teachers get started over the years, each person has a unique individual experience. An excellent W@W teacher needs to have many competencies, such as curriculum mastery, parent communication and building rapport, lesson delivery, student progress tracking and tailored solutions.
My week varies quite a bit week to week. On Mondays, there are trainings and meetings in the morning as and when they are needed. Sometimes, I need to relieve teachers. During the week, there are other meetings and calls to revamp training modules, discuss feedback from parents, handle any ongoing projects, and any other urgent matters. As I am leading the Middle Leaders, there is also a monthly meeting to discuss team strategies. I teach in the mornings on Saturdays, and spend my afternoon marking, doing lesson plans, and following up with other admin matters.
When dealing with students, I am a firm but friendly teacher. I rarely raise my voice and work through positive reinforcement instead. Building rapport with my students and getting them to share their goals with me, this allows me to motivate them. To them, I’m the expert and their greatest resource so they share their school compositions with me. On my end, I aim to create a safe space where my students can share their thoughts without judgement and thus grow.
When managing my colleagues, I build my teams based on trust. My teachers are told when to approach me when they need help and I check in periodically to see if they need any assistance. My aim as a leader is to get to know my teachers’ strengths and blind spots. I seek for them to leverage on their strengths to excel in class and in their career, and I have open conversations with individuals whose areas for improvement come up during the year. I always let both my teachers and students know that I’m always a text or call away should they need a soundboard or to brainstorm solutions.
When managing conflicts, I try to offer a different perspective to help parties see an issue from different points of view. If needed, I also will sit down with different parties if needed for both parties to seek an understanding to move towards a resolution of the issue.
W@W is at the stage where we have some sort of hierarchy. Despite our organisational chart, the directors are still quite accessible to teachers; they have their contact numbers and will often meet them during their probation period when undergoing trainings, projects, or during their teaching time at the various centres all around Singapore.
I really like that the W@W management listens to feedback if we have taken the time to consider a feasible proposal. As we are always improving as the years go by, we can accomplish more. Since its inception in 2015 when I first joined, W@W has come a long way and grown to become a large organisation with many teachers and teams across the different branches.
Working at W@W – the Experience of a Lifetime
Being a Senior Teacher at W@W is no walk in the park. However, W@W has a homely, family environment which immediately can be felt the moment you walk through the door. The students at W@W are extremely eager to learn, and lessons are always a barrel of laughs as students creatively come up with plot ideas and reenact scenes from the stories you teach them.
Teaching is a meaningful career as you will get to impact students’ lives both inside and outside the classroom in a positive way. Students come into W@W and leave feeling inspired and motivated to face the school week. As a teacher, you will experience the joys of helping your students learn not only about how to write essays and pass their exams, but also to be curious about how to observe and navigate the world around them.
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1. What Does a Writing Teacher Do
At W@W, a writing teacher will teach students how to approach an essay using a Plot Curve. The teacher will guide students’ essay writing skills to find a plot that makes sense, craft characters with good motivations and believable actions, and wrap up the essay satisfyingly.
2. Can You Make a Career Out of Creative Writing?
Being a creative writer can yield a career of writing for advertising purposes or teaching writing to students. Writing is a highly important skill which is essential in employment, and being able to craft a piece of work using logic and eloquence can be trained from young.
3. What Makes a Good Writing Teacher?
A good writing teacher will be sensitive to their students’ needs as they will be able to tell how a student learns things best. Furthermore, a good writing teacher will correct students’ basic English language skills such as grammar, vocabulary, and sentence structure.
4. Why Should I Be a Writing Tutor?
Children start reading and being able to spell before they enter primary school. By Primary 2, children will be able to craft a narrative or a short piece of writing. Writing skills can be developed in early primary school and honed further when a child approaches Primary.
5. When is the Best Time to Teach a Child to Write?
Synthesis is one of the most difficult skills in the English language as it involves using present ideas to generate new opinions and viewpoints.
how all the individual parts of English – grammar, vocabulary, sentence structure, clauses, etc. – fit together in an essay as a whole.
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