Thoughts From Our Youths

Joy's lessons are really inspiring with all the quotes she starts the lessons with. She always tells us that we can talk to her as a friend. She provides us with knowledge that is useful both in and out of a classroom, and helps us to know more about the world we are living in. She teaches us with enthusiasm and encourages us to think out of the box, arming us with a specific skill set needed to survive the ever changing world with all its technological advances. If we do not understand anything, she would sacrifice her free time and her time with her family just to stay back and teach us until we understand whatever we did not understand at first. She teaches with a passion I do not see in most teachers.
Lee Jing Han
Secondary 1
Both my children have been taught by Joy who is an encouraging and helpful teacher. Both of them looked forward and were enthusiastic to attend her lessons even though their classes were on Saturday mornings. Both had no complaints about waking up early. That was a sign of an engaging teacher at work.

Sometimes, my older child had issues with her school work, she would text Ms Joy for help and Joy would help her out. She told her Brother, “Ms Joy is a very good teacher, do pay attention in class.”

My younger child who is more active and has problems focusing in school enjoys Joy’s lessons. He is engaged and most importantly encouraged by Joy during her classes. He has improved for his End-of-Year exam after attending Joy’s lessons for less than a year. We are very blessed and glad that we have crossed path with Joy who is a positive and encouraging teacher!
Mrs Michelle Lee
It’s not very often that you’d find yourself with a teacher who is willing to go beyond her call of duty. But here I find myself stumbling upon someone who would do so much more just to ensure that l understand the lesson materials, a teacher who would go the extra mile just to get to know her students better. Honestly, I didn’t come here by choice but I’m really glad I did. I came here expecting a normal tutor; I left with a vast wealth of knowledge and a friend.
Kai Wen
Secondary 4 | SPH English Masterclass Student
Joy is a patient and caring teacher. She cares for all her students and knows each of their strengths and weaknesses. Besides teaching us English, she also teaches us skills and lessons that we can apply in our daily lives. Under her guidance, my English language has improved from a B4 to an A2 within a year. She inspires me to always give my best and never give up!
Rena Seow
Secondary 1
Dear Joy,

Thank you for guiding us! Your lessons are very interesting and I have enjoyed all of it. You are very dedicated and it is touching to see you put in your best effort to help all of us. You have really made a difference to our lives and we appreciate it a lot.
Valeda and Calista
Secondary 2 | SPH English Masterclass Student
A teacher. A coach. A mentor.
What comes to mind when you see these words? It is very likely that you would think of 2 or 3 separate individuals.

A teacher focuses on helping their students to learn, practice and hone their skills so that they can prepare for a smooth journey ahead.

A coach brings it one level higher and guides their students actively while they are on their journey.

A mentor focuses less on skills, and more on their students' inner motivation, personal values and emotional balance so that they can find the RIGHT direction for their journey and sustain themselves independently even when the journey is tough.

In my years as a student in school I’ve come across many teachers, but none of them were able to be a good mentor and coach at the same time. Let alone excel in all 3 roles simultaneously.

It is rare to come across a teacher like Darrell who naturally excels in the role of a coach and a mentor.

In times when I faced difficulties in my studies, Darrell was there for me.

In times when I was emotionally distressed, Darrell was there for me.

In times when I lacked motivation and drive, Darrell was there for me.

What differentiates Darrell from the rest is his relentless dedication to nurture and develop his students to their fullest potential even if it means going beyond his responsibilities as a teacher.

Darrell is not just my teacher.

He is my teacher, my coach, and my mentor.
Lee-On | Chief Strategy Officer of Airbloc
Straight As at A levels
Recipient of NUS Global Merit Scholarship
They say teachers have far-reaching influences on their students and it's true. My GP tuition teacher is one of the people who've had, surprisingly, the most significant influence on me. This probably comes as a surprise since you don't usually hear such things being said of teachers in our billion-dollar tuition industry.

Typical GP tuition classes tend to reinforce a routine of rote-learning and many students who attend them only go for the extra notes and compiled newspaper articles. It was precisely this impression that made me reluctant to go for Darrell’s class at first, but persuaded otherwise by my sister that things were different in his class, I tried things out for a month. And she was right about his class—him—being different. Rather than a GP class it was more like a class on life. This was also how I “advertised” it to others who asked for tuition recommendations; whether that turned them off or not because they were just looking for tutors who merely distributed handouts was another thing.

Darrell fed his students a lot of information—as all other GP tutors did—but the type of information and way he delivered it was different. He didn't dump stacks of compiled news articles and “model essays” onto us. He told stories. Personal, intimate stories from his own, and others' life experiences. From there he opened my world to a whole range of perspectives. He got to the heart of hidden, less talked about sides of Singapore: income inequality, depression and suicide, underground circles addicted to pornography and sex, political exiles etc. He gave these people and issues a face and brought out the heart of the matter. He also gave me insight into the life of an adult—which I as a teen was about to enter, yet was completely sheltered from and ignorant about.

Time and again in his classes I was confronted and ashamed by my ignorance. I had always been rather close-minded and fixated on my own perspectives, whether intentionally or not. I never had much exposure to people from walks of life outside my own isolated circle. Darrell challenged me to see things from perspectives besides my own and made me more reflective of my position and responsibilities in relation to others as a daughter, student and Singaporean.

Darrell played a large part in making me the bloodthirsty story collector I am today. Behind my obsession with meeting and learning about new people, is my encounter with a storyteller (who was foremost a storyteller himself).
Man Wei | Undergraduate NTU BA Art, Design and Media
Ex-HCI student
Straight As at A levels