For life’s greatest lessons, it all begins with a teacher

February 26, 2016

As Singapore continues to move forward as a nation, it looks to bring out the potential of its young. In order to achieve that, its teachers play a crucial role.

As the Ministry of Education (MOE) has increasingly focused on imparting knowledge, values and life skills, we wanted the public to have a higher regard for the teaching profession – and for education.

Our challenge was to shine a light on teaching—inspiring new teachers while at the same time reaffirming the importance of its current ones as well.

Since time immemorial, we have looked to teachers for solutions, for answers, for results. We look to them to make a difference, to solve a problem, to fix an issue. Sure, those are important aspects of teaching, but just as critical as their answers are sometimes their questions.

“What is your dream?” “If someone has to lead, why not you?” “Why can’t we turn failure into success?”

These questions challenge us. They inspire us to discover more, to want more and to be more. They set us on roads less travelled. Paths that perhaps even the teachers themselves have never been on. But that is exactly the point.

Teachers are not an end; teachers are a beginning.

Our campaign line brings on a simple and powerful thought,

IT ALL BEGINS WITH A TEACHER.

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We told the story of a student, Teck Choon, in reverse – a riches-to-rags story – from the success that he is today to his humble beginnings. Inspired by a true story, we see teachers encouraging, impacting and challenging the student through the various stages of his life. And whilst the lessons may all be different, one thing holds true – these teachers changed Teck Choon’s life.

The moving tribute to teaching and teachers warmed hearts and caught viral fire. In just under two days, the film garnered 257,000 views on YouTube and Facebook, close to 3,000 Likes and Comments and 2,000 Shares. Even the national paper picked it up. It provoked a rethink of the teaching profession and how we see education.

Not only did the film strike a chord with teachers, it moved the student in all of us, with many students tagging their teachers to the film and thanking them.

So this one’s for the teachers, the teachers-to-be and the grateful students in all of us. It’s time to flip the script: those who can, do; those who can be more, teach.

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