AsiaSingaporeEarly Childhood Educators Prioritise Wellness and Well-being on Professional Development Day

Early Childhood Educators Prioritise Wellness and Well-being on Professional Development Day

Over a thousand early childhood educators from Kinderland, ELFA, Nurture Stars, and Skool4Kidz gathered in Singapore Expo Hall 2A on July 3 for Professional Development Day 2023. This momentous event, titled “Honouring Our Pillars of Strength: Propelling Excellence Through Supporting Your Wellness and Well-Being,” aims to provide educators with ideas and resources for thriving in high-pressure situations.

Dr Carol Loy, Director of Curriculum and Professional Development at Kinderland, ELFA, and Nurture Stars, began the session by presenting a critical study that revealed that 90% of teachers had additional responsibility and workload following school reopening. She emphasised that early educators frequently face difficult teaching conditions while ensuring their students’ well-being. Recognising the importance of self-care in the face of workplace stress, the organisers created the event to improve educators’ overall well-being and enable them to provide quality education to young students.

Educators and wellness habits

One of the event’s main focuses was developing wellness habits that allow educators to reach their full potential. Marion Mony, Skool4Kidz’s Director of Programme and Professional Development introduced the 3Ps approach to physical, psychological, and professional well-being. She emphasised that physical wellness entails healthy habits such as proper nutrition, adequate sleep, and body awareness and added that addressing mental health needs and processing and releasing stressful emotions are all part of psychological wellness. She also stressed that professional wellness includes personal and professional development through ongoing learning and reflection.

During the event, Kevin Wong, Founder and Head Consultant of E3Sports Asia, and Shawn Quck, a certified mental wellness and health coach, led five workshop sessions to provide practical advice. Mr Wong’s sessions included “Stress and Fatigue Management,” which aimed to help participants understand how stress and fatigue affect their overall well-being. He taught relaxation and breathing exercises to help teachers effectively manage their stress and fatigue. The mental wellness coach provided mindfulness sessions to cultivate a sense of calm and manage stress. Another workshop focused on positive workplace relationships and peer support. It taught attendees how to spot signs of change in their co-workers, hold empathetic conversations, and maintain their well-being while helping others.

Understanding the role of nutrition in physical health, speakers also led a workshop on food and nutrition to equip educators with the information they need to make informed decisions. Among the sessions was “Busted: Diet and Food Myths,” which debunked common food misconceptions, while “Food Label Reading Smart” guided participants in understanding ‘Healthier Choice’ symbols and using the Healthy 365 app.

Physical Activities

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Siti Zhywee, a certified personal trainer, and Junyang Julian, a fitness instructor, led a lively Zumba session to end the day on an active note, encouraging participants to engage in physical activity and have fun.

The Professional Development Day 2023 event highlighted the importance of raising awareness about self-care and support systems for educators by emphasising wellness and well-being. As it recognised the difficulties of the childhood educator’s sector, the event provided valuable strategies, tools, and resources to assist early childhood educators in excelling in demanding roles. These educators can unlock their full potential and continue to provide quality education to the young minds they nurture by developing habits centred on physical, psychological, and professional wellness.

KLC International Institute, a premier early childhood education and professional development institute, organised the event. Professional Development Day 2023 drew the most people since the group’s first combined training in 2017.

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