SYNOPSIS: In the cover story, we feature how age has no barriers to Empowerment to blossom. It depends upon the grace we have been given.
Maggie Kuek’s Life Journey….
Maggie dedicated her heart to the Lord when she was studying in Tanjong Katong Secondary Technical School in 1971. She was converted from Taoism and became a devoted Christian. The bible verse in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthened me.” had motivated and transformed her to become confident and purposeful in her life journey from a 16-year-old youth to adulthood.
Life has its ups and downs. She overcame life struggles especially during the motherhood stage. She had to depend on God’s ways to nurture her only son in accordance to the word of God. “Train up your child in the way of the Lord, when he grew up he will not depart.” (Proverbs 22:6) was like a compass that directed her as a mother. Today, her son John is in his late 30s. He is faithfully serving the Lord as a Youth Leader in church since his youth days. He is married to a beautiful wife, Yvette and they have two lovely children, Melody and Thaddeus who are ages 5 and 7 respectively.
God is an awesome God. He directed Maggie’s life in His own unique ways. Maggie always boldly declare “Apart from the Lord, I can do nothing”. God manifested His divine guidance and led Maggie into different career paths. She started working as a civil engineering draftsman in 1974 at Housing & Development Board. Despite being a new believer of Christ, Maggie had witnessed to approximately 50 colleagues from different departments during lunch breaks through their weekly bible studies. She left her job in 1976 to assist her father in his general construction company when her brother was enlisted into the army.
Maggie had been working in the Early Childhood field for 30 years since 1988. In 2008, she graduated from Nanyang Technological University with a Masters Degree in Education, specializing in Special Education. From 1988 onwards, Maggie started her career as a teacher, senior supervisor, associate lecturer, curriculum specialist, field supervisor. Presently, she is the Associate Lecturer at National Institute of Early Childhood Development (NIEC) and a trained MOE Spark QA Coach.
Maggie had established a strong background in working with young children from eighteen months to six years old. Her classroom and management skills provided support and creativity to curriculum development and teachers’ training. As a strong believer in working closely with parents from diverse backgrounds, Maggie strived to identify and understand the needs of children and families. Many of her former preschool children had now blossomed into their adulthood. The strong network and rapport with several parents continue till this day.
With God’s inspiration, Maggie had developed and designed several well-received preschool educational resources in Singapore such as:
- “Quick Start Series which comprised 18 Assessment Books published by Success Publications Pte Ltd in 2003 for Nursery, K1 and K2 children.
- “My Magnetic Teaching Aids” for 4 years and above, published by Educational Publishing House in 2006.
- “Jumpstart To Reading” which comprised 1 set of 26 Reading Cards, Jumpstart Assessment books for K1 and K2, Jumpstart Curriculum for K1 and K2 and Teaching Guide for 4 years plus published by KARIS Resources Pte Ltd in 2011.
As Maggie is effectively bi-lingual, She had been invited to speak at various seminars on preschool education, children development from birth to six years old, build positive parenting skills and special education on Autism, Dyslexia, Down syndrome and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders. The following are some workshops and seminars that she had conducted.
- Understanding Children with Special Needs: 基督教特殊儿童教育 at Trinity Centre for Asia.
- Self Awareness: 群我关系的理论与实践at Trinity Centre for Asia
- Ministering to Children with Autism Spectrum disorder at Paya Lebar Methodist Church.
- Early Childhood Seminar at Light House Evangelism.
- Understanding Children with Special Needs认识特殊需要 at Living Word Ltd.
- Helping Children with Autism“飞吧！孩子” at Trinitiy Centre for Asia.
From her many years of experiences working in this Early Childhood field, Maggie develops outstanding leadership skills in teaching, facilitating, mentoring and supporting teachers and parents. Thereby, she had empowered them to impact young children to develop their fullest potential in their early years.
Maggie is a strong advocate for empowerment of teachers, parents and children. She empowered teachers to be well equipped with the knowledge of helping children to develop their holistic development. Besides teaching, teachers also developed the skills to innovate, motivate and inspire the children’s learning. In addition, teachers would inculcate values that build on children’s character through engaging them with other peers, teachers and the environment around them. Parents had acquired effective parenting skills to nurture and care for their children’s growth and development through continuous learning. Thus, they are empowered as parents to provide the best care for their children.
Blossoming work in her Golden Years
God is wonderful. In our society whereby many senior citizens around 60-65 years old are planning to retire, God had reopened another opportunity for her career. With Pastor Alicia’s prayer and confirmation that Maggie’s calling is in Education and training, she had embarked on her calling to focus on training children, teachers, parents and caregivers. Together with her daughter in law, they established the ‘MY Learning Ark LLP’ to fulfil her calling and impart her early childhood knowledge to more children, teachers, parents and care givers for God’s glory. The motto of MY Learning Ark LLP is based on the 3Es: Educate, Empower and Excellence.
God had added vibrancy to Maggie’s senior years. The Bible in Isaiah 43:19 states, “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Maggie wants to urge Christians of all ages to commit their future into His mighty hands. God is great and mighty. What God had done for Maggie, He will also do it for all who believe and trust in Him. Keep on trusting God and He continue to lead you to fulfill His will for your life. He is the miracle working God.
To God be the glory, great things He had done for me.
“It is He who “empowers you to blossom.”
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