What do you think makes you a good coach?
I have regularly volunteered at the after-school care program in my school for the past three years now, which has helped me develop effective communication skills, patience, and empathy with children. I have found that each child has a different learning style, and discovering how they learn best and teaching accordingly will yield the most effective results overtime, whilst simultaneously helping them find their passion and interests in whatever they are learning.
What are your key strengths as a coach?
I would consider my key strengths to be patience and collaboration. Both these skills are essential to creating a safe and growth-based learning environment where students can learn from not only the teacher, but also from each other. Such factors can also help them develop their confidence and boost their self-esteem, which is important for a growth mindset and positive attitude.
Why do you love Chess?
I enjoy chess because there are many complex elements involved such as logic, reasoning, and analysis. A part of chess I find most interesting is trying to anticipate my opponent's strategy, then to somewhat 'out-think' them to hinder their plan and win the game.
When did you first learn to play?
I was 7 years old when I first learnt to play chess. Around that time, I was also exposed to lots of other extracirriculars such as music and art, though I found chess to be much different to others, since it focused on critical thinking and concentration.
Why do you enjoy working with kids?
I enjoy observing children and find excitement and happiness in what they do, and also watching their curiosity grow. They are so energetic and always bring creativity and imagination into the environment. Whether it is celebrating the small wins or big wins, it is always a pleasure to work and have fun with children.
How do you think chess helps kids?
Chess trains cognitive skills such as problem-solving and strategizing from a young age, which is extremely helpful for the future. Chess also helps affirm the mindset of never giving up, because if you lose one game, you must try to win the next game, and then the game after that. Through this process, children will learn to reflect on their moves in the game and what they can improve on next time, which is another skill that is highly valued in adult life.
Under such guidances, children will become resilient and persistent towards their goals, and also learn that success will not necessarily be linear. Instead, it is a step-by-step journey that requires a lot of consistent hard work.