18.35 Activism - Young Union Leaders
The Friend We Want in Every Teacher

Recently, we interviewed Nur Farahin Bte Salleh, a Malay Language Teacher of eight years at the Cedar Girls’ Secondary School. She is also a delegate for her school at the Singapore Teachers’ Union (STU) since 2016. Before that, she already became a part of Singapore Teacher’s union right after her graduation from NIE.  

Generally, many of us perceive teachers to be all serious and straight-faced. However, Farahin breaks the stigma. She is fun to be with, enjoys Korean drama, loves to dance, and considers rolling her tongue a hidden talent. Spending time with her in fact, makes you feel that you are with your genuine best friend.

During our interview, we realised how enjoyable and interesting her personality is. Likewise, she shared her experiences as a Union Leader for Young NTUC and a volunteer for various organisations.   

1.    Could you bring us through your daily job scope as a Malay Language Teacher?

Although I am a Malay language teacher, a lot of my work does not only revolve around my department. It also includes other schoolwork.

This year, I am a part of the Student Leaders committee and a teacher in charge of the Peer Support Board. In addition, I was previously part of the Social Innovation committee.

Since 2012, our school’s focus has been in Social Innovation. A lot of the group work that the students do is under that umbrella. Another part of my work in school is that I am one of the teachers involved in the Regional Studies Programme. Here, we bring the focus to understanding Southeast Asia through our lessons and at the same time bring the students overseas to learn about the ASEAN countries and their culture, history and politics.  

2.    What do you enjoy the most from your job?

One thing I enjoy the most from my job is the mid-year and year-end trips where I take the students overseas. Although the lead up to the trip takes a lot of hard work, with planning that takes up to an average of 4 to 5 months, it is fulfilling when the trip comes to fruition at the end of the day.

This year, we switched to a virtual trip to Penang and Kuala Lumpur because of the pandemic. Although it is a different kind of experience, the students enjoyed themselves nonetheless.  

3.    What led and kept you to volunteer at Young NTUC?

Honestly, I jumped into volunteering not knowing what I was getting myself into after being nominated by STU. Through the sessions I got to meet the fellow union leaders, I found myself always enjoying the sharing and learning from the other union representatives who has been there for a few years. They are very passionate when it comes to taking care of their staff and always go the extra mile to provide better support to the union members who face issues. Eventually, I find myself inspired by what they do and I aim to share this passion to more people, to let them know that there are people who are ready and willing to support their career needs.   


4.    “To me, Young NTUC is...”

Young NTUC is a space for like-minded individuals who wants to better their peers. It is a place where we can synthesize ideas and gain new insights about different industries that could help its members.