Last year, Jennifer Conceicao, a teacher from Keming Primary School, underwent an 8-week work attachment programme at S.E.A. Aquarium. She got to work in the Conservation and Education unit, Attractions Training and Development & AOP unit, Curatorial unit, as well as shadow the S.E.A. Aquarium Operations unit on their educational tours.
Here are some of Jennifer’s experiences and reflections on the programme.
My attachment programme at the aquarium lasted from 18 September to 10 November 2017, during which I worked alongside several business units. Here are 3 things I learnt during my attachment which I found to be very relevant to my teaching career.
Instant rewards and affirmation
During my time with the Conservation and Education unit, I was heavily involved in their school outreach programmes where we shared messages of marine conservation with young students.
Through the many student interactions, I learnt how these young minds react positively to instant rewards and affirmation. These are some of the things I will try to practise faithfully in the classroom.
Passion and ownership
Although I was assigned to the Conservation and Education unit, I also had the opportunity to be attached to different units within the aquarium. I learned about their daily operations and engaged in dialogue with the different professionals to better understand their job scope and perspectives.
My 3-day stint with the Curatorial unit was a real eye-opener where I got to see first-hand how the aquarists worked. Through my conversations with them, I realised that passion is the theme that centres around this group of marine enthusiasts. Their sense of ownership and responsibility is so prevalent that I felt it was my privilege to learn from them.
Upgrade and re-invent
Just like in any organisation, we teachers also have to constantly re-invent ourselves and upgrade our skills so as to better engage our pupils in their learning. And regardless of job, we all need passion to sustain and nudge us when the going gets tough.
Teacher Work Attachment (TWA) at S.E.A. Aquarium
S.E.A. Aquarium’s Teacher Work Attachment (TWA) is a 4 to 12-week professional development programme where teachers work alongside our Conservation and Education unit, as well as other business units within the aquarium such as the Curatorial unit.
By working closely with these professionals, they pick up new skills and experiences. More importantly, they get to broaden their perspectives of an aquarium facility, particularly the roles in which education and conservation play.
After their attachment, the teachers can apply the new knowledge and skills back in their classrooms to enhance their teaching methods and student engagement.
How to apply
Teachers interested in applying for TWA can do so through the Academy of Singapore Teachers. Simply indicate your interest in joining the Conservation and Education team at S.E.A. Aquarium and specify your attachment period.
Note that only one teacher attachment is available at any one time, and the next available opportunity is in April 2018.