Why Greendale Secondary School Was The Best Decision I Made After PSLE

February 25, 2017

I noticed the surge in visitors finding my blog via the Google search, "Greendale Secondary School" in recent months, probably due to secondary one posting exercise after PSLE. curious, I searched for Greendale Secondary School myself, and the first few results were... Appalling, to say the least. Call this a review of my four years in Greendale Secondary — today I'm defending my alma mater, this is why Greendale Secondary School is not as bad as forums made it out to be.

Look, I know parents are worried. Is Greendale a good school? Greendale is a new school, what are its achievements? Is Greendale a school filled with gangsters? How are the teachers in Greendale? Do they care about the students? Looking at the top few Google search results, I'd be worried too, if I were a parent.

First things first, who am I? Better known by my English name Regine when I was schooling, I was Greendale's class of 2012 — I was first batch of secondary one students, and fourth batch of students to graduate from Greendale Secondary School. After secondary school, I attained a diploma in Mass Communication from Ngee Ann Polytechnic before stepping I stepped into the working world. I struggled to find my footing for a while, but now I'm a manager at 21.

Greendale Secondary School guided me down the correct path and evoked my thirst for success; for that, I'll never regret putting the school as my first choice.

I'll be honest, I wasn't the best student. The horror stories are true: as a student, I skipped classes, climbed out of school gates, I got into both verbal and physical fights, I never did my homework. Everyone goes through those embarrassing teenage years we rather not remember, and I was a real handful during my rebellious phrase. But something must have gone right for me to be where I am today.

My teachers in Greendale were that something right.

Celebrating its tenth anniversary only in 2016, Greendale Secondary School is new but the teachers certainly aren't greenhorn (pun totally intended HAHAHA). My teachers knew how to deal with students, and had their way with me.

There are bad students everywhere. But hey, news flash, you don't have to live with your mistakes if you turn over a new leaf. Did it ruin my life? No, because I learnt. How could I not, when I had incredibly persistent teachers who made it their mission to turn my life right?
I know I wouldn't have the patience to constantly listen to some lame puppy love woes of a student who never paid attention in class. It took a while, but my teachers' persistent care and concern eventually broke my walls down.

I'm sure all parents know you don't apply most of the lessons you learn in school when you step into society. Even some of the modules I took in Ngee Ann Poly's Mass Comm became obsolete information although I only graduated in 2016. The world is changing at a ridiculously fast pace and adaptability is now one of the most sought-after skills.

The most important takeaway in your teenage years, in my humblest opinion, is the skills you learn and character you develop. I wasn't an exceptional student from a top secondary school but with the values Greendale instilled in me, I learnt so much more that was applicable to real life, the working world.

Greendale Secondary is not Singapore's top secondary school. Ranking by PSLE cut off point, Greendale is not even in Singapore's top 100. So? Ngee Ann Poly's Mass Comm, the most established media school in Singapore, still wanted me. (With the encouragement of my teachers from Greendale Secondary, I went for an interview because my O Level score didn't make the cut, and got into Mass Comm through that interview.)

I'm still lousy at studies upon graduation. My GPA in poly didn't bring me to any of the three main universities in Singapore. I'm not good at this studying thing, I admit. I don't have a degree. So? I stayed resilient, I climbed my way up the old school method, and I'm a manager at 21. The skills and the values Greendale Secondary School imparted accelerated my path to success.

If you aren't interested in personal development — academics wise, my teachers magically turn my horrifying L1R4 of 39 in secondary three to 15 for O Levels. That was reduction of more than half, in a year. Although I take a credit for my hard work that got me to where I am today, it wouldn't have been possible if not for my teachers woke me up and rooted for me.

One instance was when I struggled to speak in Chinese four months to O Level, but Greendale didn't give up on my or my classmates who were just as horrible in our Mother Tongue. Instead, my class had two Chinese teachers instead of one.

My strong-willed Chinese teacher, god bless her, pulled out some of the weakest students and gave us tuition two-to-one and even one-to-one. I went from F9 to B3. If grades don't say anything, please remember these Chinese blog posts were written by a girl who couldn't read a word of Chinese beyond Primary 2 level.

Honestly, there's not a lot of huge success stories behind Greendale graduates simply because most of my peers or seniors are still in universities. Trust me, we're working hard to change that.

The name of a school doesn't matter. The environment — the teachers who define the environment — does, and I can safely vouch for the passionate teachers in Greendale Secondary School.

P.S. I can't believe the rebellious teenager stayed up till 3am furiously typing this post because of the infuriating Google search. Shout out to my stalker teachers — I bet y'all can't believe it too.

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