A Teacher who First Believed Photo Credits: Ann Lee

It is not easy to be a teacher and it is even tougher to be a teacher to children with special needs.

In my parenting journey so far, I have only encountered one teacher who...

...firmly believed in our special children and never gave up on them no matter how tough it may be. She is none other than Babe Chen, affectionately known to us as Teacher Pak from Rainbow Centre Margaret Drive School. 

My youngest son, Yi Hong was diagnosed to have Global Developmental Delay (GDD) & Hypotonia (low muscle tone). He was blessed to be taught by Teacher Pak when he was 5 years old. During that time, my boy was still unable to walk independently due to his low muscle tone.

To help Yi Hong improve, Teacher Pak would hold my boy’s hand at school, lead him up the stairs and down the slope, encouraging him to persist even when he moaned to task avoid. During class, she made sure all the children were engaged in active learning activities and ensured that their time spent in school was worthwhile. This meant a lot to me as not every teacher is like this. I have seen teachers simply giving their students iPads or let them watch videos when they have exhausted their ideas on ways to engage these children.

At the end of every school day, Teacher Pak would update us by a phone message or via the class communication book so that we have a heads up on the activities that have been done with the child at school and she would also give us suggestions on what we can continue to do at home to further enhance the skills learnt. All the children who are in her class have benefited from her teaching. 

She has made a difference by planting countless seeds of hope, her gentle words encouraging us as parents of special children - to never give up and to have faith in our children.

I can see her passion in helping her special students. 

I can see the excitement in her eyes when my boy overcomes something that once would have set him back. 

I can see the progress of the children who have been blessed to have her as their teacher and the joy in their parents.

I know that every present and future success these kids will continue to achieve are the result of the critical foundation she has helped to lay. 

Thank you, Teacher Pak. Though Yi Hong cannot say “Thank you, Teacher!” ,  I am sure he felt this. I am sure he felt the love and care you rendered and showered on him from the day we met. Thank you for not forgetting Yi Hong and for remembering his birthdays even though he is no longer your student this term. 

You are the special person who lighted the fire in our hearts and taught us to raise our children’s expectations of themselves, to never give up on them no matter how challenging it may be. You are a teacher who teach with your heart and not merely from the books.

You are the best teacher our children would ever get!

Thank you for first believing, which in turn has led us to believe. Because of you, my Yi Hong is now an independently walking child who has surpassed many expectations.


~ Letter sent in by reader Ann Lee, Mother to 6 year old Yi Hong, Singapore


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    VIVIE TANAKA - Tuesday, 08 March 2016

    I know teacher Pak, she is a very patien teacher and soft spoken. My son Nathan was tough by her also last year. Although this semester my son no longer with her, she still give my son birthday gift which is very special for us.

  • Kenneth Mah

    Kenneth Mah - Tuesday, 08 March 2016

    My daughter, Chloe, was fortunate to be taught by Teacher Pak last year and I fully agreed with what Ann mentioned here. Teacher is a very loving and passionate teacher. Because of her, Chloe has become more sociable and able to mix with the rest in class.
    Teacher Pak is one of the very best teacher in her school and she is really a rare gem!

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