Well respected by both students and industry professionals
Senior lecturer Steven Lee’s students range from green-horned post-secondary students right up to company directors in their 50s.
You see, Steven teaches students from the Diplomas in Electronic Systems, Electrical Engineering with Eco-Design, and Aerospace Systems and Management by day. By night, he gives lessons to adult learners taking their Specialist Diploma in Embedded Systems; a programme for engineers to further enhance their expertise in the design and development of computer systems embedded as part of a complete device.
“Adult learners tend to be more demanding and vocal than their younger counterparts. Lecturers need to have expertise in the subject matter and broad-based relevant industrial experience. But no matter how young or old a student is, teaching is about having a good listening ear and patience.”
His night classes are conducted from 6.30pm to 9.30pm three days a week.
Although he is often tired after the long day of teaching, he mainly empathises with his adult learners who often have to rush from their workplace to attend classes. Some are looking to upgrade their skills. Others are seeking a new job or looking to switch industries.
Understanding that his adult learners may have many commitments, he makes it a point to be flexible about deadlines, and often stays back after classes to answer their questions.
He also finds time to supervise engineers from the industry in Field-Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) implementation; a process in which integrated circuit chips are programmed for specific applications.
Having taught at NYP for 14 years, Steven believes that teaching is an interesting and meaningful career, and he enjoys imparting his skills to both the young and old.
What is your teaching philosophy?
I always believe that every student is special and different in his or her own way. Teaching is more effective and efficient if students are taught based on their aptitudes, abilities and expectations. The goal of teaching is to help students achieve their personal best.
The skills needed for effective teaching involve more than just expertise in an academic field. Listening skills and patience are important attributes required to interact with students to keep them engaged and motivated.
Recount one touching/memorable incident involving a student/students you taught.
One of my students who graduated from NYP a few years ago came to visit me in my office one afternoon. He thanked me for teaching him, and encouraging him to pursue further studies. He had just graduated from university, and had obtained a good job offer from a company. He said he wanted to share this piece of good news with me in person.
As a matter of fact, when he came to visit me that afternoon, I had difficulty recalling his name, but he did not forget me. I was very touched.
What is one thing most people don't know about you?
I can speak different dialects and I interact with students using different dialects when appropriate.