Samantha Good Talks About Education and Her Magic Wand

In our first edition of “Stories from Global Citizens,” we caught up with ShiftRunner Board Member Samantha Good. She describes how she came to be a teacher, the impact Pandoo Nation can have on children and much more. Check it out!

Where are you from? Where have you lived? How did you end up in Singapore?

I am from outside of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. I ended up in Singapore through a fairly circuitous route – when I graduated in Education from University of British Columbia I met my husband and moved to the US. His employment then provided opportunities for our family to travel. We lived in Jackson, Tennessee, Cincinnati, Ohio and the UK before moving to Singapore in late 2011.

Why did you become a teacher?

I have wanted to be a teacher since I was 10. I don’t remember why I wanted to be one when I was little, but once I was a teenager I loved working with kids. I love the opportunity that each child poses. The chances. The hope that they represent. To be around children’s innocence and joy everyday always makes me feel positive about the world. Whenever something negative happens in the world I always think that I can go to work and talk to my kids about that and perhaps they can make a difference.

What inspires you?

Passion. People who are willing to work very hard for whatever is meaningful to them. My family, of course. My husband. Other teachers that have discovered better ways of reaching kids to help them grow and become who they want to be.

If you had a magic wand, what would you do with it?

That’s easy. I would take away pain from children. I would make sure that only children who were desperately wanted were born. And I would make sure that all women ruled their own bodies.

How do you feel about the games that your two daughters, Emma, 11, and Sophia, 7, currently play?

I’m nonplussed by them. Sometimes the girls will play math games on their iPads and those are good, but they don’t want to play those for hours like they want to play the other games. And I don’t want them doing that. I don’t find them creative. I don’t find them interactive. They’re not making themselves better people by playing them.

How do you see Pandoo Nation as different from other games? How do you see it addressing a “problem.”

It’s philanthropic, which, I think, goes back to the magic wand – empowering children and educating them empowers the next generation. And through something like Pandoo Nation, where the philanthropic aspect helps to support kids, my girls are aware of what they’re doing and it’s not just mindless. They’re socially aware and their mind is hopefully considering that at all times when they’re playing and they’re not just living in their own little fortunate middle-upper class world. From what I’ve seen of the game it’s interactive which is great because since we’ve lived in Singapore and my girls have made some exceptional friendships they’ll be able to interact with those friends via the game when we move back to North America.

What kind of impact do you potentially see Pandoo Nation having on Education?

Well, for example, there’s currently an ECA (extra-curricular activity) at our school called, “kids helping kids.” Right now they’re researching different ways to help kids in other places and I think that’s what the game is. In a super fun way. Through that, kids can then also go beyond the game and look into where those resources are going and learn more. So I think from a school aspect there will be the game but then there’ll also be the enquiry part of where is this funding going, why is it needed, who is benefiting, how are they benefiting. There’s a lot more opportunity to dig deeper into the humanitarian and social awareness side of it.

Bonus Question:

We asked Samantha’s daughter, Emma, 11, what she would do with a magic wand:

“If I had a magic wand I’d turn myself into a unicorn and turn all the stuff, like haze and smoke, into jelly beans.”