AI KHIM TAN
Designer / Design Lecturer, SIM
(In her 40's)
Her story (as shared by her nominator)
Ai Khim is a visual communications designer, with a Master's in Contemporary Arts. Her passion for art and design has seen her conduct artistic and creative thinking workshops for adults and children.
A design educator since 2006, she has been passionately sharing her design knowledge with students from primary to tertiary levels. Her genuine commitment to creativity and inclusivity truly shines through her work. As a designer, she is the creator of Singapore's 2012 National Day Parade logo, an achievement she is extremely proud of.
Besides teaching design, she also finds time to design books for special needs children. Since 2014, Ai Khim is the designer and illustrator for Helang Books that produces books for special needs children, in Singapore. She ensure that event props are carefully crafted so it is safe for the children to use. Whenever I help out, I see the happy faces of children and I see that the kids enjoy her events very much. Her works cover local folk stories that aim to impart good moral values to the children-readers, opening up a world of knowledge to those who would otherwise not have access to such learning.
Ai Khim has always given back to society. She's an empathetic educator who has touched the hearts of many. She is a strong believer in following her passion and has a long-term dream of inspiring young children to follow their own passions as well. I have first-hand experience, witnessing how she gives her all during class to ensure her students thoroughly understand the concepts. She will go all out to help them solve challenging problems that arise from their coursework.
Besides juggling her busy schedule at work, she also must balance her time as a mom. She juggles mothering three kids with her passion to contribute back to society and also to educate our future youths. She never fears to do what she feels strongly about and is always up for a challenge. She is a creative individual, always listening and interested in finding new projects to work with. She advocates creativity and imagination. She's a mother, a daughter and a strategic chess piece.
In her own words:
To be an educator, you must be certain about your craft, you have to engage effectively with your learner and above all, maintain sanity on the homefront (because I have 3 kids and 1 Big baby boy). I am learning everyday and this helps me to be open to new ideas, and looking at things from different angles. Different learners require different engagement styles so, there is no standard size.
I never thought I would publish a book, let alone a book that serves the inclusive community in Singapore. Seeing happy children smile and have fun with our books during events, as well as seeing parents bond with their brood with enjoyment – that’s my greatest achievement.
Biggest challenge thus far
I never thought I'll be a mother. A mother of 3 is a big feat to me. However, managing a class of 40 kids, with different learning abilities also pushes me out of my comfort zone to do my best to engage them. These are the challenges I have faced so far.
what judges say
I admire her ability to use her skills and knowledge to aid children with special needs.
Really interesting strong story!