TUEETOR CHATS with Mrs Tan-Teo Lay Leng of Ignium Academy


Everyone knows the importance of a patient and experienced teacher. For subjects such as Maths and Science, understanding is the key to unlocking mathematical formulas and solutions.

Teachers who have been working with students for many years are able to distill their experience into best practices, tips, and tricks that will help their students to excel.

This is why we’re very happy to speak to Mrs. Tan-Teo Lay Leng, co-founder of Ignium Academy. As a former MOE teacher with 16 years under her belt, she has authored popular Math and Science assessment books, been featured on local TV, and created her own model to and resources to help her students.

Hi Mrs Tan-Teo! What excites you most about your industry?

Mrs Tan-Teo Lay Leng Ignium Academy

Mrs Tan-Teo Lay Leng

Students finding their passion and drive for learning after our intervention and guidance.


What do you hope your students at Ignium Academy will achieve?

Two years ago, one of my students from a neighbourhood school achieved 281+3 in her PSLE. My goal was to keep the student motivated to do well and guide her along the way. That student is today in an independent school and doing well.

We believe the ability to do well, not just in academics but in life later, will have to come from within the students. This is why I co-founded Ignium Academy last year, because of our belief that the passion for learning has to be ignited (Ignium is the latin root word for Ignite). As teachers, our task is to ignite their passion for the subject and for lifelong learning.

We believe the ability to do well, not just in academics but in life later, will have to come from within the students. As teachers, our task is to ignite their passion for the subject and for lifelong learning.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?

Provide children with a balanced lifestyle, full of what they NEED, not just what they WANT. Do not be afraid to say no to your children if what they want is not what they need.

Who inspires you?

Nick Vujicic. He was born with tetra-amelia syndrome, a rare disorder characterized by the absence of all four limbs. His videos on YouTube have inspired millions and millions of people with his message to love life and live without limits. He was once suicidal, but now, instead of looking at everything he lacked, he decided to look at everything he could have. Today he is a famous author and international speaker, inspiring the world every day to live a life without limits. His message is brilliantly sobering and electric.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?

A friend shared this with me an article ‘ The Silent Tragedy’ written by Dr Luis Rojas Marcos, a psychiatrist. In the last 15 years, researchers have given us increasingly alarming statistics on a sharp and steady increase in childhood mental illness that is now reaching epidemic proportions:

  • 1 in 5 children have mental health problems
  • A 43% increase in ADHD has been noted
  • A 37% increase in adolescent depression has been noted
  • There has been a 200% increase in the suicide rate in children aged 10 to 14

These statistics certainly call for more action by caregivers and educators on how we nurture children.

If you had to teach something different, what would it be?

Mrs Tan-Teo Lay Leng students Ignium Academy

Mrs Tan-Teo Lay Leng with some of her students

I will still teach what I am currently specialising in – Math and Science because I am passionate about helping students do well in these subjects. 

What I would have done differently is to keep developing ways to teach certain tough skills or topics because I want students to better master these concepts.

For example, I created the ‘Big Fat Model’ because I discovered how students were making certain common mistakes with the recommended model method by MOE. My method is able to solve the problem too but helps students to better visualise the workings and make fewer mistakes.

How do you unwind?

Watch my favourite drama while relaxing on a massage chair!

What is a quote you live by?

‘Nil Sine Labore’ which is my college’s motto.  It means that in life, we get nothing unless we put in the effort. I often share this with my pupils inspiring them to work for what they believe in.

What should we look forward to in the coming months for Ignium Academy?

We have expanded the number of tutors and classes which we are offering. We are glad to have brought in highly professional and experienced tutors, including one who has taught for eight years at our local autonomous universities. We constantly look for ways to be different and to make an impact on students in our classes.

Our belief is ‘Igniting the passion for learning.’ Our experienced tutors will equip children with the ability to handle the academic requirements, as well as to prepare them for life. I am happy to have made a difference in the lives of over two thousand students since embarking on my education career and we believe we will continue to do so.

How can people connect with you?

I am teaching at Ignium Academy Mondays to Saturdays! You can contact me via our Facebook page and Messenger.

Book Ignium Academy’s courses on Coursaver at 10% off retail prices now.