Editorial
18 May 2021

Teacher's Day Special: A Full Circle With Taylor's Lecturers

Who’s the one teacher in your life whom you’ll cherish forever? Taylor’s lecturer,  Dr Sia Chin Chin, shares with us, hers! Read to find out who!

“One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.” Malala Yousafzai

 

Some say that a teacher is selfless like a candle that burns itself to light the way for others. And to some, teachers are people who can change our lives. Indeed for many, teachers help create a path for us to a brighter future — without them we wouldn’t be where we are, knowing what we know today. They’re not only our source of information but also to an extent, an inspiration to achieve great heights in life.  

Dr. Sia Chin Chin, Taylor’s Law Schools Senior Lecturer II from the Faculty of Business & Law, remembers her lecturer during her years as a Cambridge A Level student at Taylor’s College back in 1998. And Dr Sia’s lecturer is none other than Senior Lecturer I Ms Sujata Devi who now teaches Business for Cambridge A Level. 

Dr Sia remembers very well her lecturer-turned-colleague and has even submitted her story under the RISE Educator Award. Although it didn’t win the award, we believe this story deserves a feature and so, here’s a brief interview with Dr Sia who wishes to show appreciation to her lecturer.

Q: What subject(s) did Ms Sujata teach you during your Cambridge A Level in 1998? 

A: Law.

Q: Could you elaborate a little further on Ms Sujata’s teaching methods? 

A: She’s very well-organised and always comes prepared for the lectures. She’s clear with her explanation, willing to answer our questions, and always clarifies our doubts.

Q: How was Ms Sujata different from other lecturers? 

A: She’s passionate about her subject and shows dedication to students — even sometimes when we weren’t paying attention in the lecture!

Q: Share with us a memorable moment you have with Ms Sujata. 

A: It wasn’t during A Level, but when Taylor’s College moved to the Lakeside Campus. I remember I was having an ice cream at the kiosk at  the Level 1 Foyer when a lady came to ask me for directions to go to an office. When I saw her, I immediately recognised her as Ms Sujata! For me, it was amazing to meet my ex-lecturer, after more than 20 years, especially now that she’s my colleague in Taylor’s!

Q: How do you feel being able to work alongside her as a colleague now? 

A: I feel great as I hope I’ve made her proud.

Q: What was some valuable advice Ms Sujata shared with you? 

A: To pursue my studies in Cardiff for the Bar Vocational Studies, where I met my husband ;-)

Q: Did Ms Sujata inspire you to become a lecturer today as well?  

A: To a great extent yes because I can see the change a teacher/ lecturer could make in an individual’s life.

Q: What would you say is the most important value/trait an educator should have? 

A: Teaching is art with passion.

We also got in touch with Ms Sujata who shares that she’s truly honoured that her students remember her contribution. Here’s our brief interview with Ms Sujata:

Q: Do you remember Dr Sia Chin Chin as your student back in 1998? What was she like? 

A: Yes she was a quiet unassuming student.  Very focused and determined. She always had a twinkle in her eyes when teaching her. A sweet student with a lovely smile.

Q: How do you feel knowing that one of your fellow students is working with you now?

A: I never imagined she would consider a teaching profession —  I feel very proud of her.

Q: Dr Sia hopes that she has made you proud. Is there anything that you’d like to say to her? 

A: Yes, she most certainly has made me proud.  She completed her doctoral studies and remained humble. Funny when I asked her to call me Sujata, she felt uncomfortable at first.  Now she’s ok with it (after some nudging 😊) and has become a very confident person.  She’s young and will have a lot to give to those whom she will now guide through. 

Q: Have you always wanted to be in education? 

A: Teaching was my first choice and I was very comfortable in it.  As a kid, I’d play teacher and nothing else. My grandparents were both teachers and were eventually head of the schools they led.  Must be in the blood, I guess.

Q: What inspired you to be in the education industry? 

A: My students have always been my source of inspiration — their kind words of  appreciation and affection makes me feel good.  At least I know I’ve helped a child realise that they’re good and capable. Most students need encouragement so we need to show that we, as teachers, are confident in them. 

Q: What would you say is the most important value/trait an educator should have? 

A: Never losing hope in any child. To persevere and be kind. Showing that it matters that they do well is important to them and they’ll feel confident and won’t give up on themselves.

Q: Do you have any advice for aspiring educators out there? 

A: Be patient and don’t give up on any child.  Most students need support and encouragement. You’ll see that they’ll be good in the end. Show them some kindness and the will to support their academic drive to achieve their ambitions as well.

 

We’re glad that Dr Sia was once under the wings of a truly dedicated lecturer and has also been leaving her mark to her students since 2015. It shows the works of a great educator don’t end in the classroom but rather leaves an unending trail that could inspire us to greatness. So remember to show your lecturers or teachers or any educators in your life what they mean to you — Teacher’s Day or not!

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Josephine Serena
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