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KIMERLEE AMI SOO TING

#03769747

03/08/2015

The road to becoming a teacher, an autobiography


Born to Laura and Dennison Soo Ting in the borough of Arima on March 22 nd, 1985, being the
fifth of six children, I was never a timid person. I would be what most people at the time would
consider bright. I entered formal school at just two years of age and immediately became a
teachers favourite. I would spend my evenings imitating my pre-school teacher, Pamela by
teaching imaginary children in my mothers high heel shoes. At that time corporal punishment
was still legal, so my mother would frequently hear me beating the living day light out of my
imaginary students. I also received many blows from my mother herself for using her walls as
blackboards. I spent two years at pre-school learning more than the required material and my
teacher Pamela advised my mother to enrol me in primary school at four years of age.
I was one of the first students at this newly opened Arima Centenary Government primary
school. It was this institution that moulded me as a public speaker. At primary school I had
learned the material for the first three years in just one year, so I was skipped from first year to
standard one. The teachers were so impressed with my intelligence that they sought to develop
the other aspects of my character, which admittedly were lacking. It was in standard two with the
encouragement of one of my favourite teachers, Miss Hosein, that I started entering reading and
chorale speaking competitions. That year I placed first at Arts festival with my rendition of
Vibert and the puppies by Paul Keens Douglas and second in the reading competition. Every year
after that I entered Arts festival and made it to winners row. It was these competitions that
ultimately wet my appetite for public speaking and helped mould me into the teacher I am today.
I had reached the end of my primary school education at just eight years old and I was preparing
diligently for the Common Entrance exam. To my utter disappointment my parents decided that I
was too small in stature and too young to go to secondary school. So despite I was proficient in

KIMERLEE AMI SOO TING

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03/08/2015

all subject areas, scoring at the top of my class, my parents arranged with the principal, Miss
Simmons, to have me retained for another year. I would never forget the hurt and disappointment
I felt as my friends left me and I resolved to never hold my own children back in this manner if
ever they ended up in a similar situation. The following year I graduated as valedictorian and I
aced the secondary entrance exam and went on to pass for my first choice school, Bishop Anstey
High School.
Entering an all-girls secondary school was hard initially for me because I was no longer the
sharpest tool in the shed. It is there that my competitive drive was fostered. The girls were
intelligent and highly motivated and we competed academically, making each other stronger. The
teachers were not very innovative in their teaching techniques and I concluded that they rested
heavily on the fact that they were teaching the top ten percent performing girls in the country. As
a natural born leader I was elected class prefect in form one, I commanded the attention and
respect of my peers and I further developed my public speaking skills as a member of the
schools drama club. However, in some ways I did not fit in. Coming from very humble
beginnings the income disparity at school became increasingly evident to me as time went by. I
was not able to always participate in events the school hosted or limes my friends would have.
My parents were struggling to finance me through formal school and with four older siblings all I
knew was second hand books and hand me downs. As a result my circle of friends started getting
smaller and smaller as we headed toward CXC exams and my subject of interest became clearer
and clearer. I wanted to study Economics, I wanted to understand the dynamic behind the have
and the have nots because I frequently felt I was in unfortunate circumstances.
It was not even a question of what I wanted to study when I entered the University of the West
Indies in 2003. I loved Economics and that is all I was interested in at that time. My passion for

KIMERLEE AMI SOO TING

#03769747

03/08/2015

Economics pushed me to specialise in it at the undergraduate level. I was proficient at it and I


started helping my friends by peer teaching in those days. At university I realised my strengths
and weaknesses as an academic and I focused on my strengths, doing highly quantitative
Economics courses. After graduating with honours from UWI in 2006, I decided to get a job to
pay off my student loans, while pursuing my masters degree in Economics on a part time basis. I
got quick employment at the National Library and Information Systems and it is there that I
realised how much I enjoyed interacting with people and helping others learn. I left the job
however within a year, as an opportunity for a fast paced business environment was alluring.
When the business flopped in 2007, I was called by Providence Girls Catholic School to fill in as
an A level Economics teacher. It is there that I found my passion for teaching. I realised that I
could marry my two favourite things; Economics and public speaking. I fell in love with
teaching, with the art of it and with the children. In May 2008, when the Ministry of Education
called me to formally enter the system at Malick Secondary, I did not hesitate. Despite the fact
that everyone around me was scared for little me, going to such a dangerous school, I
accepted the challenge and I have never regretted the decision. The challenging environment
made me a better teacher and made me appreciate all different types of students.
Now that I am the CAPE Economics teacher at Polytechnic Sixth Form and a seasoned educator
I can see that my two year old premonition of wearing high heels and teaching has come true, the
only difference is that the students are no longer imaginary and the heels actually fit.

KIMERLEE AMI SOO TING

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Perseverance is the key. Continue to be that dedicated teacher. All the best

Ms. Lystra Stephens-James


Business Curriculum Instructor
School of Education
The University of the West Indies,
St. Augustine Campus, Trinidad and Tobago.

03/08/2015