Thinker with a Mission, Leader with a Heart Series 10
Grace Lee, Class of 2010
By Lim Zhi An Ariel (1T23)
Grace Lee, from the Class of 2010, is one of the recipients of the prestigious Outstanding Youth in Education Award (OYEA) 2022 which is awarded by the Academy of Singapore Teachers. The award recognises young teachers who demonstrate a strong passion for teaching and nurturing students.
Grace decided to embark on a teaching career as she “wanted a job that could make a positive impact on others”. She was also inspired by her mother who was also a teacher. Grace’s mother would regale her with stories of the memorable encounters she had experienced in the classroom. As they say, the apple does not fall far from the tree.
Grace and her classmates from 2T02 with Mr Tan Jek Suan at the CJ Olympic Relay in 2010.
Grace with her classmates and her History tutors in CJC.
Grace’s passion for History was seeded during her time in Catholic Junior College (CJC) where she was an Arts student. She credits her History tutors—Ms Narindar, Ms Michelle Teo and Ms Sarah Soh—for their “patience”, and for bringing History to life with their “gripping stories and interesting lessons.” Her time in CJC was filled with rich learning experiences such as an Overseas Community Involvement Project (OCIP) trip to Batam where she spent three days clearing the drains and painting the house of a beneficiary with her classmates. Those experiences have left an indelible mark on her, and she still remembers them fondly today. When asked to give advice to the current batch of CJC students, she said “Life is what you make of it. Enjoy the two years of JC as they will fly by!”
As a History and Social Studies teacher, Grace aims to make her lessons relevant to her students. Many students think of History and Social Studies as boring subjects that have little to no bearing on their current lives. To disabuse students of this perception, Grace finds innovative ways to not only enliven her lessons but also to help her students make real-world connections. For example, she engages her students through history games and virtual tours of historical sites such as Auschwitz. Her students have used the skill of cross-referencing sources to verify the credibility of the information they come across on a daily basis.
“Once, my student proudly told me that he avoided an online scam by cross-checking the dubious text message that he received with online sites warning users of scams. I was glad that he could read between the lines and use his analytical skills,” Grace said.
With her dedication and clear-eyed sense of purpose to nurture her students into critical thinkers, Grace truly exemplifies the qualities of a teacher with a mission, leader with a heart. Her goal is “to impact lives by creating opportunities for students to try, achieve and grow.” Those are words to live by for any educator.
In Veritate et Caritate