One community, a world of difference

30 September 2016

I cannot help but think of two things that happened, one last week and one this week.I popped by a middle-school class during my routine walkabouts, and they were having a break. One of the students took the opportunity to tell me of his displeasure, that he (or rather his parents) has paid the school fees for him to study, so why should we stop him from buying drinks at any time of the day from the school canteen?

I noted that this policy has only been enforced from this week onward. I pointed out to him that he paid the school fees to come to school to be educated, to learn how to behave in a world that expects a certain norm of behavior. It is precisely because we care to teach certain values, that we want to enforce certain standards of behavior in school.

My mind went back to last week, when there was yet another downpour characteristic of this island nation (we ranked 13th out of 169 nations for top average rainfall per year), and my staff and I were busy sheltering our students from the rain when a parent remarked, “That is very good service you are providing.”

I must admit I was taken aback, but quickly appreciated that parent wanting to put some positivity in my life. I was taken aback because that was not what I was thinking of, when my staff and I were sheltering our students. These are young lives that have been placed in our care. As a parent myself, I want to know that my children’s teachers care for them.And that, in essence, is what we were doing. We want our students to go to their class dry, rather than risk them catching a chill in the air-conditioned classroom. We do all these because we care for these young lives, rather than simply because it is a good service we provide.

It is because we care, that we are teaching our students not to cross the “gray area” where the cars and buses move about during the morning start of school and dismissal, drawing yellow lines and footprints on the proper place to walk to guide them.It is because we care, that we monitor our errant bus that kept coming in late, and spent so much time with the bus operator, to make sure that our students get the best learning environment ever.

A school, whether for-profit or not-for-profit, should always be a place where young lives grow in an environment of care.

上周和本周发生了两件让我印象深刻的事情。在巡视中学校园时碰到了学生课间休息 时间,一位学生告诉我,他对于学生不可以在用餐以外的时间到小贩部买饮料这项规定相当不满。他觉得他的父母缴缴了很多学费给学校,为何连买饮料都要被限制。我想了想,记得这项规定从这周刚开始实施,我告诉这名学生,缴交学费上学的目的是来接受良好的教育和学习社会规范行为的。

正是因为我们认为传递正确的价值观是很重要的,我们才有这项规定。我的思绪回到了上周,当新加坡又下起了典型的大雷雨(新加坡的平均降雨量在全球169个国家中名列第13名。),我和我的员工们又开始忙碌的帮学生们遮雨。一位家长走过来告诉我说“你们对孩子的服务真的很周到”。

我顿了一下,很快的谢谢这位家长对我的正面鼓励。其实在为孩子遮雨时我没太多别的想法,我只知道家长信任的把孩子们教给学校,我们必须如同家长般爱护他们。自己身为一位家长,我也希望我孩子们的老师也是用同样的想法呵护我的孩子们。爱护孩子是教育工作的本质。我们希望孩子们上学不会因为淋了雨、湿了衣服而在冷气房里生病。我们所做的都是基于对孩子们的爱,而不仅仅只是提供一项好的服务。

基于同样的理由,我们教导我们的学生在上下课时不要穿越车子和校车经过的灰色区域,也画上了黄色指示线,让孩子们跟着指示安全的上下课。同样的,我们严格监督多次迟到的校车,花了很长的时间和负责校车的公司沟通,就是为了确保我们的学生可以在最好的学习环境中成长。

学校,无论是盈利或是非盈利企业,永远都应该是孩子们备受呵护的地方所在。

Michael Chan 曾俊成

Principal 校长

Hillside World Academy