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A chat with Jenny, Principal at Tampines, who is constantly on the ground and treasures teamwork

Updated: Jan 24

In this series of chats with our staff, we get up close and personal. They share about things like their favourite drinks, to their experiences and motivations at work.

Hi there! Could you introduce yourself? I’m Jenny, I’m the Principal who oversees the running of LOT Tampines. I have been with PPS since 2018 - I started as a Deputy Centre Leader and worked my way up. I do a lot of things for my role, I deal with daily operations, I oversee admin stuff. I support the teachers in curriculum and classroom management. For classroom setup, I leave the job to the teachers as they know what they are doing so I respect them as they know what’s best for their children.

What does a typical day in your life look like? Oh wow..Well in the morning I come in, I check my daughter and myself in. Then I switch on my computer but I don’t get to sit down! I go directly to the infant care bay as that’s where they need more support in the morning in terms of receiving children and settling them down for breakfast and milk till 930am. I would then see if other classes need support in any areas, then once they are all settled in I would go back to office to settle my paperwork.

What are some hobbies or interests you have outside of work? I don’t really have hobbies but I like to sing, though may not sound nice, but who cares. I just sing. Karaoke is one of my favourite things to do, I have my own ‘K’ system at home. If I feel stressed and I need to let it out I just turn it on and start singing!

What is a pick me up that you need to keep you going in a day? Coffee is a must. I cannot live without coffee. I start off the day with coffee, though I actually have biscuits and snacks in the office but hardly get to touch them. But I do make sure I have my proper meals so that the day goes smoothly and I don’t fall sick.

What are some heartwarming moments that you witnessed at work? There are a lot. Something that warms my heart is I don’t have to be there always to tell them what to do, I don’t micromanage when we have an assignment. I say not I but we - we will discuss and delegate the roles and duties. The teachers can carry out projects on their own; most of the time they can give me a lot of ideas and suggestions on how we can improve on the project or things that we can do in the centre.

What are some fun moments at work you recall? When I’m sitting in the office with my Admin Assistant Ms Eileen, the children would sometimes start crying, especially the younger ones from playgroup or the infants. We would play a guessing game to guess who is crying and one of us would go and see if we got the answer right - and of course also console the child and help the teacher!

How would you motivate a fellow teacher? It's about teamwork and communication. It’s not about what you are working as but who you work with that matters most. Ultimately, no one can work alone unless you are constantly programming with a computer but we are working with children here, and of course our colleagues. Communication is a key part of what we are doing. Therefore, I believe everyone should communicate well. Sometimes there are conflicts but we clear it up, find out the underlying problem, resolve it and move on from there

What is one quality that a teacher must have? They must be willing to learn and make mistakes. They must not be afraid to take the first step. To be very honest it’s not easy being in this industry, there are a lot of changes and things ongoing and you have to be very flexible. Being courageous enough to take the first step to admit their mistakes and learn from it is the most important thing. If we never try, we will never know if we will make it. If we try and make a mistake we can pick ourselves up and learn from it.


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