Mrs Mohan’s Reflection: My 25 years journey in AGAPE
It’s been 25 years since I started working with the AGAPE family. In August 1996, I became a Senior Teacher of AGAPE. It was a time filled with opportunities to learn. But in just a few weeks, I began receiving news of my co-workers’ departures, and it felt like the ground beneath my feet was giving way. I was in a new place, and I had no idea what lay ahead. However, I felt empowered to keep pushing forward after my conversation with the directors. It would not have been possible for me to have travelled these 25 years without them and the ‘WORK’ family at AGAPE Little Uni.
Following a few years working as a Senior Teacher, I became the Principal of Jurong West in 1999. Being newly appointed to a principal role for the first time, I was filled with excitement and enthusiasm. In my journey, I learned from the mistakes I made and the changes that I needed to make in order to become a better leader. The importance of walking the talk became increasingly evident as values and beliefs were challenged. There was a point when I realized that everyone’s journey as a leader encompassed more than what is noticed by the naked eye. With every passing day, I gained strength and sharpened my skills. My knowledge and expertise was expanded when I was given the opportunity to work with centers that provided infant care, and student care services. During my career, I gained valuable experience from leading diverse teams, as well as a broader understanding of various perspectives.
I got married after a few years and soon became a mother. My transition into motherhood was not without its challenges. Night-time work and course assignments and early morning to-do lists were part of daily life. Educating and nurturing children without any expectation of any reward is a very demanding profession. My love for working with children and the early childhood industry kept me afloat even when I felt exhausted and stressed from trying to juggle work and family responsibilities. The constant support of my family and colleagues allowed me to spend time improving myself and acquiring the leadership skills necessary for leading teams. In order to achieve work-life balance, you need to make sure that your work and your life are in harmony.
I did not consider pursuing a career in early childhood when I graduated after my “O’ levels back in 1989. It was during my search for a job that I stumbled across an assistant teaching position at the Young Women’s Christian Association. From this position, I acquired a wide range of practical skills and knowledge. My job developed out of a random chance and is now my career. I have had the great honor and privilege of accompanying children and their families through their preschool years for more than 30 years. Although there were numerous challenges, accomplishments as well as experiencing great satisfaction made this journey worth it.
My ability to remain a member of the current organization for 25 years has been of great interest to my colleagues. This is the message I wish to convey to them. Every relationship is built on TRUST and LOVING WHAT YOU DO is the foundation to have a fulfilling career and life. In fact, you can be assured that those who love you will accompany you on your journey as long as you are doing what you enjoy. Having placed my trust in the management on that day in 1996, I am able to extend my success over the past 25 years as that TRUST was the foundation of my career. When the going was tough and difficult, my family’s love and support gave me warmth and a shoulder to cry on. There is no better feeling than knowing that the two pillars of my life are in harmony.
When you read this, take a moment to reminisce about why you started on this journey. This may help you rekindle the flame of your passion. Along the way you will face a lot of challenges, but it is crucial to have the strength of character to go through these obstacles. Make time to achieve harmony between work and life.
I hope my sharing has been an encouragement to you to continue your mission to foster young minds in order to become the leaders of tomorrow.
It is not far away when you will reach a significant milestone in your career in the early childhood field. It is in your grasp so be sure to persevere.
By Mrs Mohan, Training Manager and 25 Years Long Service Award Recipient
Hear our CEO’s testimonial of Mrs Mohan!
What makes a TRUE leader? As we celebrate Agape Little Uni.’s 26th birthday this year, we also celebrate the achievement of its staff who has dedicated herself to the organisation for 25 years! From a teacher in the organization’s very first Choa Chu Kang centre in 1996, to now a Senior Principal position, Mrs Mohan has definitely shown how her Resilience and tenacity has taken her on a pathway to success! Forever humble, she is well-loved and fully appreciated by all for her efforts to always look out for those around her, so that they are able to put their Trust in her. A leader known to do her best to Unite and Empower others, so that they too can follow in the same footsteps as her, let us now hear more about her learning journey with the organization from her CEO, Dr Connie Seah-Lim!
What do you appreciate most about Mrs Mohan?
Dr Connie Seah-Lim: “Mrs Mohan is a leader with great tenacity and her willingness to strive always marvels me. No matter how hard the boat rocks, a leader should never show fear and lead the team with confidence. I remembered in 2017, one of our centres is in crisis. Initially, another principal was supposed to anchor but due to some personal issues she had to take unpaid leave. I asked her to anchor the centre immediately and without any fuss or disagreement, she accepted the role and led the team. She is a true leader, always ready for change and with much perseverance and determination; she did extremely well and the staff and parents were full of praises for her. To Mrs Mohan, ‘Impossible’ is not in her vocabulary and all her staff know her well.
What were your most memorable moments with her?
Dr Connie Seah-Lim: “I have known Mrs Mohan for 25 years and she is like our big sister in the agape family. Mrs Mohan started as a teacher in our very first Choa Chu Kang centre in 1996 and over the years she has promoted from a teacher to a Senior Principal position. She is always active in asking questions and seeking solutions to problems, and if she encountered problems or made an error, she had the courage to admit the mistake, take responsibility, and immediately seek to rectify the situation. Throughout her time in this position, Mrs Mohan consistently strives for excellence.
I was particularly impressed with her strong communication skills. Part of her job involved contacting vendors, parents, teachers, children and support staffs addressing their needs and meeting their demands. She is always respectful in communicating and hence wins the hearts of many. She shows very strong organizational and management abilities, and is able to put things in place in the quickest time. If anything, Mrs Mohan was at times too eager to complete tasks successfully and quickly, which ultimately serves as proof of her dedicated ambition to succeed and excel.”
How has Mrs Mohan grown throughout the 25 years?
Dr Connie Seah-Lim: “Mrs Mohan has a cheerful and positive personality that makes her a joy to work with. Mrs Mohan is very skillful in operations, she is able to link operational issues to policies. She is instrumental in reviewing and crafting many of the children’s policies to align the expectation and understanding of the parents, teachers and the centre. The recent ‘On the job training modules’ developed by Mrs Mohan and team was also well received by our management and leaders. She has consistently led her team well to achieve the Centre’s 3 years Licensing, Health Promotion Awards, SPARKS certification and other Awards. “
“I want to personally congratulate Mrs Mohan on such a significant year, 25th long service with Agape Little Uni. We greatly appreciate her dedicated years of service and loyalty to our organization. Mrs Mohan you might not know this, but we are aware of all your efforts and hard work, and we cannot thank you enough. We value all your sacrifices in helping our organization grow to where it is today. You really went above and beyond to help Agape Little Uni reach its full potential.
Thank you for all your contributions and all the little things you do each day to help in our respective works.”