I did my very first public talk to the students at Queenstown Primary School last Monday (23 April)!
I’ve done assembly talks while in RGS about a fieldtrip to Wales, UK that I went for, and also for Overseas Service Learning (OSL) (if I remember correctly!) before, and also spoken in front of smaller groups during some NIE Character Education Conference in 2009 (although the post says nothing about what I said) about peer-mentoring and more recently, at the 3rd EduCamp Singapore about our biodiversity education (or lack thereof). And countless times taking classes out for lessons/fieldtrips. But never an entire school assembly talk before!
It was part of the school’s Earth Week activities; and on the part of ICCS Otters, we also celebrated Earth Day by conducting talks at CHIJ (Toa Payoh) Primary, Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) and Queenstown Primary, rounding it off with an Earth Day cleanup at Tanah Merah on 28 April!
Maxine did the first talk at CHIJ (Toa Payoh), which she is an alumni of, Siva did the second, and I was “arrowed” to do the last!
It was a rather nerve-wracking preparing for it, as I was unsure of how the students would react: would they listen, or would I bore them all to sleep??
Thankfully enough, they were very cooperative and “ooh”ed and “ahh”ed at all the right moments when the photos of our marine life appeared 😀
The photos and videos of baby turtles, dugongs, monitor lizards and otters captivated them and hopefully, they will know never to ask “Singapore got marine life, meh?” again! Or even better, enthusiastically reply “Mosquitoes!” when someone asks them “What animals do you think we can find in the mangroves?”, which was the reply I received from this Primary 1 boy.
The photos of how our marine trash is affecting marine life not just in Singapore, but also worldwide, also had a strong impact on them, and I think the kids felt strongly about doing something at that point. I talked about how even as children, they can start by REDUCING (the most important), reusing and recycling, and also participating in coastal cleanups!
Hopefully they will remember all that was brought up during that short half an hour; or perhaps at least the salient points of individual action to help alleviate our impact on our environment. And that the impact and message behind my talk was not lost by the teachers silencing them and shooing them off to their next class