Hi, my name is Priya. I am 21 years old. I am an assistant teacher at APSN Chaoyang School. I also have a mild intellectual disability. I want to share my story about how I grew up, went to school and now work as a person with special needs.
Although I have special needs, but in my youth I did not feel different, probably because it was quite quiet and everyone around me was well treated. My family loves me unconditionally and it has also helped me look at life positively.
What I struggled with then was not very good reading, but with the support of my family and school, I continued, continued to practice and overcame the struggle. I think I read well now!
I remember when I entered APSN Delta High School, I was very excited because I received training in retail operations by doing an internship at a Hang Ten clothing store. The internship made me more confident and less shy about talking to strangers.
My teachers also discovered my athletic ability and I trained with national coach Muhammad Hosni three times a week. I was chosen to represent my school and even Singapore at numerous sporting events such as the National Athletics Championships (every year from 2014 to 2017) and the Special Olympics (2017). My best competitions are 100 and 400 meters. I am really proud of the medals won!
In 2018, I received the Lee Kuan Yew Model Student Award for being a role model for my peers through my achievements in sports. The award gave me even more motivation to constantly do my best and strive to be even better.
When it came time to graduate, it was hard for me to find a job that would fit into my athletics training schedule. I am very grateful that my principal of Delta High School, Mr. Subash Lazar, invited the principal of Chaoyang School, Mrs. Angela Lee, to undergo an internship there as an assistant teacher. Mrs. Lee readily agreed, and I began my journey as an assistant teacher!
When I started, I felt insecure and lacked confidence. I am very grateful to my colleagues from Chaoyang who have always taken care of me and provided support and guidance, especially to my principal Mrs. Lee and my teacher Mrs. Narlida Shahrin.
They made sure that I did my job and got along with my colleagues, and that I had someone to turn to if I needed help. My coach from Delta High School also continued to support me and work closely with Mrs. Shahrin to make sure I was doing well. The skills I learned at Delta Senior School also helped me in my internship, such as being resilient and resilient to problems, as well as how to seek help when I’m unsure of anything.
Because of my love for sports, it was a great pleasure to work with a group of 4 elementary school students in physical education classes. I also supervised and assisted students in household and ICT lessons. Through my work, I have learned many new skills, such as using digital programs, performing work-related administrative processes, working with faculty, and managing students.
I was very happy when the school offered me a contract for the position of assistant teacher in 2021. It involves more responsibilities, and this role is like a dream job for me, so I work hard and give my best. With my salary I can pay my own expenses, such as a phone bill, contribute to my family’s expenses and donate a portion to charity to help less privileged families. I save the rest of the money for the future. If there is an opportunity, I want to continue my studies and improve myself.
I am grateful to Delta Senior School and Chaoyang School for believing in me so that I have the opportunity to pay and serve the community with special needs. I am proud to be an assistant teacher.