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Elaine Chee - Principal of Tadika Methodist Gunung Rapat, Ipoh | MCKL

Elaine Chee - Principal of Tadika Methodist Gunung Rapat, Ipoh

04 Aug 2020

Elaine Chee joined MCKL's Diploma in Early Childhood Education programme in 2016. She is currently the Principal of Tadika Methodist Gunung Rapat in Ipoh, Perak.

She shares what inspired her to enter the teaching profession and her journey at MCKL.

What inspired you to go into ECE?

I decided to study this course because of a child who inspired me.

I had always known I wanted to be an educator but had never thought of working at a kindergarten. I was thinking of maybe becoming a primary or secondary school teacher. After SPM, I applied for a government teaching course.

But surprisingly, I was rejected. I wondered, why would God close the door he opened for me? I decided to study Form 6, and at the same time the principal of Tadika Methodist Gunung Rapat, the kindergarten I attended when I was four to six years old, was retiring. She recommended me to be the new principal. I did not know if I was suitable for this job yet, but I decided to stop Form 6 first.

After that, I was working as a kindergarten teacher in the morning, a tutor at a primary school in the afternoon, and home tutor for secondary school students in the evening. I wanted to see which field would be suitable for me, while I waited for God's call and guidance.

And thank God, because it turned out that my aunty was taking care of a young child, living right beside me. I got along with him inexplicably well and continue to up to this day. He likes me very much and I like him very much, and he influenced me to be a good teacher.

I chose to study early childhood education because I wanted to know more about children. I think that as a kindergarten teacher, I need to not only teach ABCs, but also understand the inner heart of a child.


Why do you think ECE is important?

I think that as an early childhood educator, you must study ECE before becoming a teacher because you can at least understand the children's minds and understand why they behave like this. Not only that, the teaching in the classroom must also be interesting, because today's children are different from previous years' children. They have easy access to vivid things, so the teaching materials in our classroom must also be vivid. A course in ECE teaches you how to do these things.


Why did you choose MCKL?

It was recommended by my church, and I read good comments about this college online.


Who played a big part in your MCKL journey?

I was born into a Mandarin-speaking family. Mandarin is my mother tongue. When I came to MCKL, I was not used to it. I was not only sad about leaving home to study in KL, but with people around me speaking English, even my housemates and classmates, I was very unaccustomed to it.

Therefore, I needed to work harder than others. When I did not understand my schoolwork, I would search on Google for resources. At the same time, I also found a group of classmates who really helped me by discussing coursework together and supporting each other. I think I would have given up without them.


How did you cope with the assignments and exams?

I revise after school every day and worked harder than others. I was not used to it at first, but I started to cope after asking classmates and my lecturers more questions.


How were you prepared to face the working world?

One of my favorite courses in ECE was entrepreneurship. From this course, I could imagine setting up a kindergarten myself! I learned how to run and manage a kindergarten, so I am not worried about working in this position as principal now.


What do you remember most about MCKL?

The school cafeteria is the place where I felt most at home. I chatted with the hawkers every time I took a break. They are also very considerate to us. They are just like our parents.


What would you advise people who are considering ECE?

Many people are afraid study ECE because they are scared to teach children. But, if you have a heart that is willing to get along with children, it is not so difficult to teach them. Children are simple and cute. If you are concerned because English is not your native language, it does not matter, it can be cultivated and learned slowly. I am a good example of that.


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