A picture of Teacher Lydia, a biology and primary science teacher from ACE EdVenture.

Faces Of Sri Emas – Tr. Lydia

After a brief hiatus, it’s time once again for a closer look at the people who make up our schools. This time around, we sit down for a little chat with Tr. Lydia who has been a part of ACE EdVenture Schools in one way or another for a long time. Find out more about this Coldplay fan, her ambitions of being a pet stylist, and so much more right here!

Hi Lydia, tell us a little bit about yourself please…what do we need to know?

I was actually an ACE student back in the days. As in, when MTV still played Britney Spears music videos! I furthered my studies in Australia where I pursued food science and nutrition. I then returned to Malaysia where I worked as a full-time nutritionist for a few years before coming back to ACE as a teacher.

You’ve come up through the ACE EdVenture Programme, so to say. Please talk a little bit about how the learning has prepared you for life after high school.

Being educated in the ACE programme really helped me open up. I am generally quite the introvert and I guess I was an even bigger one when I was a kid. But the whole ACE programme pushed me to speak up a little more. Through all the presentations, group discussions and projects we did in class, sharing ideas with others or giving my opinion became the norm. Through that I also found out how much I enjoyed creative writing actually.

How long have you been teaching and which subjects do you teach?

I’ve been here since 2016 and I teach biology in both schools and primary science at Dwi Emas.

Apart from your busy schedule as a teacher, you’re also still working as a nutritionist helping people with their goals. What motivates you to pursue this while being a full-time teacher?

Yes, I am still working as a nutritionist. I think I really just enjoy inspiring others and helping them make a change in their lives. I find that very rewarding and fulfilling. I also enjoy the whole science behind the food we eat and how it affects our body and ultimately our lifestyle. I find that very interesting and relevant no matter what year it is.

The subjects you are teaching now, were they your favourite ones at school?

Yeah for sure! I really enjoyed biology and learning how our body functions. Fun fact, math was my worst subject so the Asian stereotype is invalid (laughs).

There are plenty of misconceptions about what being a teacher is like. So what would you say is the hardest thing as a teacher?

Bringing home your emotions. Sometimes you have built such a genuine bond with your classes that when you go home, you tend to worry about their progress, how you’re going to help them, or why they were acting a certain way today etc. So it’s good to learn how to leave things at work sometimes. Although most of the time the only thing I leave there is my coffee cup.

What made you pick a career in teaching in the first place?

I wanted a little more of a challenge than ‘just’ being a nutritionist as my daily routine. I also enjoy sharing my knowledge, experiences and stories, and kids appreciate that.

So if you weren’t a teacher, which profession would you have pursued?

Other than being a nutritionist and teacher, I would have gone into fashion design. I was also dabbling between the idea of being an animal trainer or pet stylist. But fashion design would have been the other path I would have taken.

What do you think makes a good teacher?

Sincerity. Being honest with yourself and with your students. Staying true, staying humble.

What would you say has been your favourite moment so far as a teacher?

When I turned on Coldplay as a bit of background music for my primary students and they knew who they were and said they love Coldplay. Loved how we could relate despite coming from different generations.They also focused on their work beautifully.

What’s the most challenging thing as a teacher?

Keeping everyone happy. That’s always tough and not always possible.

That about wraps it up for us but as always, we’ve got one last question: If there was only one thing you’d want your students to take away from you, what would it be?

It’s okay to make mistakes, just make sure you learn from them and have some fun while you’re at it.

These interviews always end on wise words, thank you Tr. Lydia!

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