One community, a world of difference

2nd Feb 2017

A Principal should be present to greet his students every morning, and all the more so after an extended school holiday and vacation. It was thus quite distressing to me that I had to deal with a terrible tummy on the Monday after the CNY holidays. It was no big deal – I am a fighter – a couple of carbon tablets and I can still continue the fight, but it was frustrating for me to be late for school on such an important day.

Thankfully I have a great Vice-Principal, Mr Poh Leong Joo, to cover for me in that half hour I was absent from school. He has been a dependable arm for me, covering for the absence of my Head of Junior School (whom I am still in the midst of interviewing for) until such time as I can find someone I believe can handle the challenges of our junior school.

Education of students today is no longer just about the ABCs and the 123s. It is also about their character, developing leaders whereever they go, whether leaders in the family, leaders in their community or leaders in their companies and at the top levels of government.

I come personally from a background of youth leadership education. Before I joined the teaching service in Singapore, I was first a volunteer, a Sunday School Superintendent in my church. Against the grain of thoughts in those days, I started training some of my Grade 6 Sunday School kids to be Cell Assistants in my Sunday School. Some of those Cell Assistants would eventually return to be Assistant Teachers in the school. Many of these children are now fathers and mothers, and they have begun to gather again every year at my home for Christmas, now that their teacher is back in Singapore.

Training children to be dependable involves controlled risk-taking on the part of the teacher, with plenty of chances to fail, and plenty of opportunities to teach children how to be dependable despite all the failures. It is not something that many teachers find easy to handle and do, but the IB education system gives opportunities for teachers to explore such controlled risk-taking with their students. As an entrepreneur who has founded three enterprises personally, I believe in developing that very same spirit in our students.

The Scouts CCA is one avenue where we allow for plenty of opportunities to teach the students about leadership, about being dependable and about assessing and taking risks in life. In this CCA, our cub scouts become Sixers leaders and Patrol leaders. They plan activities and work in groups towards their goals of badges. I shall be looking into making this one of our primary CCAs, to be supported and groomed, to achieve the vision of developing leaders amongst our students, leaders who shall one day be important pillars of their community.

Till the next we meet…

做为一个校长,应该每天早上出来迎接学生们的到来,在长假后也更应当如此。 然而对我来说痛苦的是,春节长假后的星期一我就要面对严重的腹泻。 这也没有什么大不了的,因为我是一个战士 – 几片药服下后,我又可以继续战斗!但让我倍感沮丧的是,在这么重要的一天我却迟到了 。

幸运的是,我有一个得力的副校长-傅良裕先生,在我不在的这半小时内,代替我迎接学生们返校。 他对我来说像是一个可靠的手臂。他一直帮我兼顾着小学校长(我仍在接受许多面试)的职责,直到我找到一个我相信可以胜任和应对各种挑战的小学校长为止。

如今的学生教育不再仅仅是关于ABC和123了,它也是包含学生性格的培养,要努力把他们塑造成为各个领域的领导,无论是家庭的领导、社区的领导或是公司和政府的高层领导。

我本身来自青少年领导教育的教育背景。 在我正式加入教学行业之前,我是一个志愿者,在我教会的主日学做校长。 在那段日子里,我开始训练一些主日学6年级的孩子成为我的小组助理。 其中一些孩子最终回学校成为助理教师。 许多孩子现在都已经成为父亲和母亲了,不过当他们得知我这个老师已经回到新加坡时,每年都会如往一样来我的家里聚会并一起过圣诞 。

训练孩子的可信能力涉及到老师的风险把控,尽管存在失败几率,但同时也存在许多机会来培养孩子如何踏实的去面对失败。 虽然对于许多老师来说并不容易处理,但是IB教育系统为老师们提供了与学生们一同探究这种风险控制的机会。 本身作为一个创立过三家公司的企业家,我也相信在我们的学生们身上也需要培养同样的精神。

我们的童军课外活动是一个非常好的领袖培训渠道,为我们提供许多的机会,来教导学生关于领导能力、可信能力以及在生活中如何评估风险和承担风险。在这个课外活动中,我们的小童军们会训练成为小队长和大队长。 他们一起筹划各种各样的活动并且一起合作来完成他们的徽章征集。 我也将研究怎样可以使这项活动成为我们的主要课外活动。让我们可以得到更多的支持和培养,从而帮助我实现在学生当中培养未来领导者的愿景,这些领导者终有一天也将成为他们社区的坚实的支柱。

我们下次再会。

Michael Chan 曾俊成
Principal 校长
Hillside World Academy