One community, a world of difference

26th Jan 2017

I realise I have readers who read this column who are neither students nor their parents. I thought I would reproduce the contents of my speech at the Chinese New Year celebrations (on 20 January 2017) for this post.

Before I begin, let me introduce to you a new member of the HWA family, Ms Katty Zhao, VP of Admissions, Marketing and Communications. She has lots of exciting ideas to contribute to the school, and I welcome this new addition.

It has been nearly half a year since I took over the school. I would have thought it clear by now that I am a bilingual and bicultural Principal, but surprises still crop up now and then. Just last week, I spoke to an elementary student in Chinese, and he replied in shock, “老师,您会说中文?”(“Teacher, you can speak Chinese?”)

I could only smile at him and informed him that, yes, his Principal can speak Chinese too. After 4 years in high school studying Chinese at a native level, with Chinese being the medium of instruction for classes like PE and Art, and with another 12 years of working in China under my belt, I had better be able to speak Chinese too!

Today, as we celebrate the Chinese New Year, I observe that in no other international school in Singapore do we see aspects of Chinese culture so celebrated, so wide-spread. At the same time, I would like to remind my students that we are also an international school, and so we celebrate diversity and expect our students to be open-minded to learning from the various cultures represented in our midst.

Today, as we celebrate the Chinese New Year, I am proud to mention that, in my half-year tenure here, I have kept pushing for HWA to become a better school than before, with better facilities, more quality teachers and a culture of good manners.

I am especially happy with the final product. My students have learnt to knock on doors before they enter a room, and to greet their teachers and each other along the hallways as they walk. While we still have a long way to go, these baby steps are the beginnings of great pounding runs in future.

Today, as we celebrate the Chinese New Year, I realise how the parents, staff and students have become an important part of my life. I would like to wish these important people a Happy and Prosperous Chinese New Year.


发现,的博客读者有些既不是学生,也不是学生家长。因此, 我想在里借个机会再重新跟大家分享我在春节联欢会上的2017120日)演内容。


我接管学校已经将近半年了。 我以为现在大家都已经很清楚了解我是一个双语和双文化的校长,然而惊喜还是出现了!就在上个星期,当我用中文与一个小学生讲话时,他非常惊讶的问:“老师,您会说中文?”

我只能对着他微笑然后告诉他:“是的,你的校长也可以说中文!” 在高中学习了四年的华文母语课程 (高中的体育和艺术课都是由中文授课的), 之后又在中国工作了12年。经过这些经历中文讲不好就惨了!

今天,我们欢聚在一起庆祝农历新年,我注意到,在新加坡没有其他国际学校像我们学校一样,中华文化可以在这里被接受和广泛的发扬。 同时,我也想提醒我的学生们,我们是一所国际学校,因此我们的庆祝应该是多元化的,并且我期望我们的学生可以开放思想,互相学习彼此所代表的不同文化。


我对取得的最后一个成果最为开心。 当我的学生在进入房间之前学会了敲门,并且当他们路过走廊时会跟老师和其他同学打招呼 。 虽然我们还有很长的路要走,但是这些小小的进步将会是我们成就巨大飞跃的开始 !

今天,当我们一起庆祝农历新年时,我意识到家长,工作人员和学生已经成为我生活的重要组成部分。 我祝愿大家新年快乐、万事如意!

Michael Chan 曾俊成

Principal 校长

Hillside World Academy