Walk us through the items in your bag, and tell us how these items speak to who you are as a person.

Phone – keeps me connected, especially on whatsapp, Facebook and email and Calendar keeps me organised.

iPad – a good option to reply to emails (I don’t like to reply emails on my phone – too small), or to read the news or an ebook while waiting.

Name card – comes in handy to exchange contact information with people.

Wet wipes – as a mum, I always have wet wipes and tissue papers on hand.

Lipstick – to look presentable, especially since I am usually out the whole day.

Bag and wallet – coincidentally, they’re both Coach. I hope to be a good coach to teachers.

blog2016_1656x976px_yM3We notice you’re reading a book on your iPad, which is great! How is your relationship with an e-read different from a physical book?

An e-read is convenient and handy since I can store many books without physically carrying those books. This is especially useful when I am travelling. However, I still enjoy a physical book and will still be tempted to buy print books when I see a good one.

A lot of people have contested feelings about digital. While we use it so much everyday for work, to stay connected, etc., we feel the simultaneous need to ‘detox’. How does digital play a role in the way you live your life? What do you do to find that sense of balance?

By virtue of being a digital immigrant, we are naturally comfortable with digital and non-digital. Digital native will find it more challenging striking that balance compared to us. While I read news on my iPad, I also read news in print. Similarly for books, notes and articles.

blog2016_1656x976px_yM4What’s the story of iMath? How did it come about, and how does technology fit into the picture?

The prelude to iMath was a Facebook group “Maths Model Method – Singapore” that I set up with a former MOE HQ Curriculum colleague, Vei Li. We set up Facebook group to help parents solve math questions that they could not solve and we hope that in doing so, we are able to help them and alleviate their anxiety. As the number of members on the Facebook group grew towards 10k members, iMath was developed so that we could serve parents and students better by having search and filter functions. These were also features that users have requested on the Facebook group. The Facebook group has more than 11500 members now and continues to grow. It is particularly heartening to see many kind, helpful and enthusiastic members helping and encouraging one another.

Do you foresee any challenges iMath might face?

For now, we are still working on making the features on iMath intuitive and easy to use. We are committed to making it useful and meaningful to the community. When we receive feedback, we will take it seriously and see how we can make iMath better. In that spirit, I guess iMath will always be evolving with features that will continue to serve its users and to foster a love for mathematics.

At what point did you realise that you wanted to become an educator?

Right after junior college, I applied to NIE for its degree programme. I guess at that point, I have decided to be an educator.  

blog2016_1656x976px_yM1What are three principles/ideas that your study of mathematics has taught you that have made you better at what you do, or a better person in general?

1) Analytical and systematic thinking in Problem Solving. The discipline of mathematics trains the mind to think analytically and systematically. Whether it is work or home, I tend to approach issues and problems analytically. Looking at problems and thinking through different angles to solve them – this discipline is extremely useful and even more so in the unpredictable economy that is coming to us.

2) Perseverance. Solving a math problem requires lots of perseverance and discipline to see it through. It requires one to trash a method and try another one if the latter does not work out. It requires a “let’s try it” spirit which is very essential for an entrepreneur. Of course, when you “try it”, you’ve consequently got to “see it through”.

3) Objectivity. As a student, I like math because it is more objective than many other subjects. You almost know how you fare in an exam after a math paper. Maybe that has made me more objective and less judgmental – I look for data and facts rather than feelings. Is this good or not – I don’t know :)

Lastly, if you had to condense your diverse life experiences into one word, what would it be?

Heart. Do it with passion and from the heart – it is a lot more satisfying and the work is likely to be more meaningful to people too.