Teacher's Day 2019: Why they teach, how it's changed
Teaching can sometimes be a thankless job, but Ms Pearlyn Lim, who has been at it for almost 18 years, is passionate about it.
The head of the department of English language and literature at Fuchun Secondary School became a teacher after leaving her job as a journalist in 2001.
Ahead of Teachers' Day today, Ms Lim, 42, told The New Paper: "At that time, there was an excess of journalists, and a recession. I was also tutoring and I found it enjoyable. It made sense."
She enrolled in the National Institute of Education in 2002.
Ms Lim has received awards for her efforts, such as the Ministry of Education Service Excellence Award in 2012, 2016 and 2017, and the Long Service Award in 2017.
"Teachers can no longer be simply a source of information, as information is now at the students' fingertips," said Ms Lim.
She added the job now, more than ever, entails teaching skills such as sieving through an avalanche of information and forming an informed opinion.
Ms Lim said: "Youth and students today are digital natives. It is important to let them work on devices, but we must ensure they are still engaged in the lesson."
Ms Lim enjoys her profession as she finds it fulfilling.
"I look forward to moulding young minds," she said. "When I'm old and decrepit, these are the people who will decide what kind of country Singapore is."
Ms Nurul Ain Muzlan, 28, who has been teaching for four years, follows the same school of thought.
The Malay language teacher at Dunearn Secondary School hopes to leave a lasting impact on her students.
She told TNP: "Our role is not just instilling academic knowledge, but rather being role models and developing their character."
Ms Ain was inspired by her secondary school Malay language teacher, who took time to care for his students.
"I take time to get to know them, as each individual has different strengths and weaknesses," said Ms Ain.
She gets her students to submit journals every two weeks, in which they can address any challenges they are facing, in or out of the classroom.
"During lessons, you have to listen to what they have to say, and show that they matter," added Ms Ain.
Ms Lim said: "The teacher-student relationship is one aspect that has not changed.
"It is important to empathise with students. It's a cliche but I think this saying holds true - students don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care."