Ms Michele Tang (second from left) with Catholic High School principal, Ms Magdalen Soh Lai Leng (far left), a school student and staff members at the Istana on Sept 1. Ms Tang was among six recipients of the President’s Award for Teachers.

A Catholic High School teacher was awarded the President’s Award for Teachers (PAT) for her role in inspiring her students and peers.

Ms Michele Tang, was among six recipients to receive the prestigious teaching award conferred by President Tony Tan at the Istana on Sept 1.

The award honours excellent teachers for their role in moulding the future of Singapore.

The winners were selected by a panel chaired by the head of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Education.

As a lead teacher for Geography, Ms Tang believes her students learn best when they are engaged and when games or technology are involved. According to the school, Ms Tang seeks out such opportunities to help create the need and want to know more about the world.

Some of her lessons include sessions that help students learn beyond their textbooks.

“Our students today know a lot. They are also better gamers and much more proficient in technology than I am,” she said. “I see my role as a facilitator that brings all these elements to the table to help them make sense of what they are learning. At the end of it, they need to see the greater purpose of learning what they learn.

“It is not just about the academic results but about being mindful and purposeful with the knowledge they acquire, to develop empathy and to take action.”

One example of her students taking action is after learning about the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, they decided to put on an exhibition to educate the public about tsunamis and signs of an impending tsunami. They also decided to take it further by raising funds for the tsunami victims.

Besides being a teacher of 16 years, Ms Tang is also a catechist with the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) and a parishioner of the Church of Christ the King. She also serves as a member of the Parish Engagement Team (PET) under the Archdiocesan Commission for the Family (ACF).

In school, Ms Tang serves as a religious moral education teacher and conducts talks on sexuality and character education for the students. She joined Catholic High School in 2010.

Being a teacher in a Catholic school has helped her faith. “It helps that teaching in a Catholic school begins with God in the morning through prayers,” she said. This helps us to be still and know that God is there for us to lift up our daily worries, distractions and burdens. I draw strength from the weekly Masses and devotions by the Religious and staff, to the school, which inspire me to choose to live a God-centred life.”

Ms Tang added that teaching in a Catholic community has made a difference with the support of like-minded colleagues who also anchor themselves in Christ.

“We support each other through our prayer and fellowship, both of which are especially precious during the times when the going gets tough.”