Valedictorian Speech of Master of Arts in Special Educational Needs 2017

Hear what our valedictorian has to say about the MA SEN


Valedictorian Speech of Master of Arts in Special Educational Needs

Ms Weng Yiyao (MA SEN)

DAS Academy Graduation 2017


Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, friends and family, teachers, distinguished guests and most of all Graduates. It is an honour to speak to you on this special occasion.


On behalf of the graduands here, I would like to thank our family, friends and colleagues. You were all there for us with encouragement and instilled in us the confidence to pursue our dreams.


I decided to take up my Master of Arts (Special Educational Needs) as part of my professional development. I have always aspired to be a practitioner strong in practice and guided by theory. Knowing this as my purpose, it was important to be proactive with my personal professional development. When your purpose holds great significance to you, you will make time for it.


As a practitioner with back to back classes, we are often pressed for time. Through this, I had numerous opportunities to read up on the science behind the practice, which is so important for a reflective practitioner.


When I was taking the module “Managing and Supporting Children and Young People with SEN”, I learned that our students may have other challenging needs that may manifest into behavioral, emotional and social difficulties that interfere with their own learning.


There were often occasions in my class where my priority had to change from teaching my students to try and regulate their behavior or emotions. When my P1 students are not ready to participate in class, I would tell them they need time to compose themselves before they are ready to be active participants in class. 9 months into this routine, they are now able to tell me when they need a break. When they return to the activity, they are engaged and ready to learn. The module has provided me with the skills to be more effective in managing my students’ emotional and behavioral needs.


Special needs industry in Singapore is still in its infancy. With the recent changes in legislation, children with mild to moderate needs will now have to attain formal education in Special Education or mainstream schools. With the skills and knowledge we acquire during our professional development, we can meet the needs of both students and parents. We have a key role to play in shaping this chosen field of specific learning differences.


The time to act is now! Find your purpose. Develop your purpose. Continue to pursue to the very end because we owe it to our parents and stakeholders who entrust their children to us.


Thank you.