These past two years have been challenging, not just for teachers in schools but also for our MOE HQ colleagues. As I bid farewell to MOE HQ, I bring with me valuable insights about how even the slightest decisions made at headquarters can have a major impact on the wider teaching fraternity, and by extension, on students and the education system as a whole. I also have fond memories of the times spent with my HQ colleagues — whether it be the long nights churning data from all schools, or the days spent organising interactive courses, workshops, and learning journeys. I’ve been touched by how committed our teachers are to the spirit of professional development. When teachers take the initiative to acquire new skills and sharpen the saw of learning, it makes our MOE HQ work all worthwhile.
Along the way during my MOE HQ stint, I’ve been blessed to have had nurturing and caring bosses. In The 360 Degree Leader, John Maxwell describes how good leaders empower their people by thinking not so much in terms of boundaries but in terms of opportunities. Good leaders make things happen — they shape the very personality of their organisations. I’ve witnessed just how vital our leaders are in shaping our collective culture at every division and branch of the ministry.
So I surveyed my branch colleagues via a Google Form about my bosses, and incorporated my colleagues’ inputs into a personalised poem as a farewell gift for them (one boss is retiring, while the other is moving on to another MOE HQ division). I even had the chance to recite the poems during the Zoom farewell sessions held in the bosses’ honour! May it be a fitting tribute to their visionary leadership, their moral authority, and their generosity of spirit.