One community, a world of difference

14 September 2016

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.

        一切要从一个男孩捡到两块钱开始…男孩带着他的伙伴们出现在我的办公室,其一位看到了我桌子上的一罐糖果,他的眼睛目不转睛地盯着糖果,开始伸手跟我要糖吃。
        我突然意识到这是个很好的教育机会,作为一位教育工作者,我有义务教导孩子们如何有礼貌地跟大人要糖吃,他们也必须理解糖果的主人是有权不给糖的。这个故事的下篇是,在经过一两轮的礼貌练习后,每个孩子都拿到了他们所期盼的糖果。
         因为这罐糖果,我有了更多机会了解我的学生。校长桌子上有糖果的消息很快地就传开了,学生们也开始走进我的办公室,当然…他们是来找糖吃的!
        有个男孩告诉我他想吃糖,因为他饿了。
        有一个女孩说她不会跟她的妈妈讲她吃了糖,因为她的妈妈不喜欢她吃糖。
        另一个女孩说她会告诉妈妈她吃了糖,因为她什么事情都跟她的妈妈讲。
        另一个男孩多要了一颗糖果,说是要给他的弟弟。
        在我从事教育的这么多年里,办公桌上的糖果罐每每都成功地帮助我,拉近和学生们的距离,让我更了解我的学生以及他们的家庭。我记得以前我有一个很大的毛绒玩具,每次学生来找我谈心的时候都喜欢抱着它,一边掉眼泪一边倾诉他们生活中的许多问题。后来这个毛绒玩具承载着太多的泪水和拥抱,不适合再给更多的人”分享”,我便将它束之高阁。
        我想该是时候再买一个新的毛绒玩具了! 对我而言,校长室的大门应该是永远为孩子们敞开的,这是另外一个帮助他们学习和成长的地方。

 
Michael Chan 曾俊成
Principal 校长
Hillside World Academy