It all started with a boy who found a two-dollar note and popped by my office with his buddies. One of them noticed with great glee the bottle of candies on my table and reached out for it.
It was a learning moment, as I found myself having to teach them how to ask for the candies in a polite manner, and to accept that the person with the candies has the right to reject the request. One or two rounds of practice later, all the boys got their candies.
The bottle of candies allowed me to observe my wonderful students, as news began to spread of the bottle of candies on the Principal’s desk and students began coming in to, well…find out more about the candies.
The boy who told me he wanted the candies because he was hungry.
The girl who told me she would never tell her mum she had a candy, because her mum does not like her to take candies.
The girl who told me she would tell her mum that she had a candy, because she tells her mum everything.
The boy who asked for one more candy for his sibling.
In my many years in education, that bottle of candies on my desk never failed to help me understand my students and their family more. I remember I used to have a huge stuffed toy which has seen much tears and hugs from students who came by to talk to me about their many problems. I dumped it because it has become very “used” and no longer suitable for hugs.
Perhaps it is time to get one again. To me, the Principal’s Office should not be an intimidating place for students, but yet another place for them to learn and grow.
Michael Chan 曾俊成
Hillside World Academy