Principal’s Message - December 2020



Message from the Principal: Staying grateful and hopeful during the Pandemic



It has almost been a school term since assuming principalship in Hoi Ping under the pandemic situation. Being the first Principal with no prior experience in the school, some Principal friends of mine asked if I could adapt to it. Without hesitation, I told them that ‘I am grateful and I enjoy my work tremendously. The teachers here love Hoi Ping so much that I feel my job more satisfying than ever.’ Just as several retired Hoi Ping predecessors said, Hoi Ping is always blessed with the presence of capable good teachers who are dedicated to education.

 

Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire. Teachers of Hoi Ping accompany and guide our students to learn and grow in adversity. The school has experienced challenge after challenge posed by the pandemic. Owing to the volatility of the pandemic, lessons are conducted in mixed modes, online and face-to-face. Teachers have to change their teaching methods and adjust their timetable promptly. We often wonder: how can we increase students' engagement and motivation during online lessons and enhance their learning effectiveness? Our extra-curricular activities are almost suspended since we only have half-day classes. How can we take care of students’ physical and mental development apart from their studies? There is risk of crowd gathering when organising various school events, from ‘Speech Day’ and ‘S1 Admission Information Day’ to ‘Parents' Day’. How can we make appropriate arrangements to ensure effectiveness and cater for the needs of all stakeholders?

 

Although the pandemic has brought us many challenges, it has also created opportunities to promote e-learning development in our school. I am very grateful that my colleagues have adapted well to the new online teaching mode during the pandemic. To facilitate learning, they have tried different software and methods to design online assessments. They use online platforms to take attendance, distribute and collect homework. This is definitely a huge step forward for e-learning development in Hoi Ping! Furthermore, as it was impossible to conduct physical functions, we went online and conducted ‘Student Union Election’, ‘House Meetings’ and even online fitness training and choir practices. Flexibility is the most valuable lesson we have learned from this experience. For the first time in history, we held the ‘S1 Admission Information Day’ online. In addition to a live broadcast, a virtual campus tour was pre-recorded to introduce our school to the participants vividly. This unprecedented attempt allowed us to introduce Hoi Ping to more than 1000 families. After the event, we uploaded the event videos, Q&A sessions and the results of teacher-student collaboration to the school website, so as to share the joy with more people.

 

We are pleased with not only the new opportunities in the midst of the crisis, but also with how our students now cherish their school days and not taking them for granted. When face-to-face classes first resumed, I communicated with S1 parents on the phone and was glad to hear that their children like going to school and were happy to attend face-to-face classes after the long wait. When Hong Kong entered the fourth wave of the pandemic, our S6 students treated every school day as their last day at school as they were afraid that classes would suspend at any time and that they would have no chance to say goodbye to their teachers and classmates. When students look forward to attending classes, they will be more engaged in lessons; and when they are engaged in the lessons, they will be able to learn more and grow faster. I am eager to talk to students and listen to them. In the limited school days, I can only welcome students at the entrance with a nod and a ‘hello’ with my eyes.

Communication with students is precious for me. Apart from the sincere dialogue with the committees of the Student Union and peer tutors, what impressed me most was the interview with the student reporters from ‘Oasis’, the student newspaper. I remember they asked me, ‘Principal Chen, Hoi Ping is a band 1 school with outstanding performance in both academics and athletics. Which area do you expect Hoi Ping to further excel in the future?’ I smiled and told them that instead of developing a certain school project, Principal Chen would like to develop each and every student by providing them with heaps of opportunities to explore their potentials. If all students are able to find their own shining stage, why do we have to worry about the school development? This is my philosophy of school management, and it is also the reason why I applied for the post as a Principal.

 

No one knows when the pandemic will fade, but I believe that God has His own plan and everything is under control. Every cloud has a silver lining. Stay hopeful and the sun will shine after the rain. I wish you all the best and blessings to Hoi Ping!

 

T.N. Chen

Principal





校長的話:「疫」要感恩 常存盼望



疫情之下,走馬上任,不覺已近一個學期。成為首位「空降」開平的校長,幾位校長朋友自亦關心我是否適應。我毫不猶豫的對他們說:「很感恩,工作很開心,這裡有一班很愛開平的老師,我在這裡獲得的滿足感前所未有。」開平的老師是學校寶貴的資產,誠如幾位退休的開平前輩所說,開平是福地,常常羅致很多能力強又對教育有心的好老師。

有好的老師陪伴孩子成長,就是逆境也能安然前行。網課與面授課同步進行,挑戰不斷,時間表要適當調節,教學法要變通,我們經常想:如何提高學生在網課的投入與動機,提升他們的學習效能呢?半天的課堂讓我們開放多元的課外學習幾近停頓,如何可以在疫境中照顧學生學習以外的身心發展呢?學校各種活動皆有人群聚集的風險,無論是「中六畢業典禮」、「中一入學資訊日」還是「家長會」,我們該如何作適切的安排呢?

 

疫情帶來挑戰,但同時是推動電子教學的機遇。很感恩同事經此一「疫」已習慣網上教學,以網上平台點名及收發功課,又會嘗試用不同的軟件及方法,試行網上評估,促進學習。此可說是開平電子教學發展的「大躍進」!我們知道做不到實體訓練,就用網上的模式,完成了「學生會選舉」、「社員大會」、甚至完成線上體能鍛鍊及歌唱練習。靈活變通是我們在此次經歷中的重要得著。「中一入學資訊日」我們首次以網上直播的方式舉行,又預錄校園導賞,希望拉近與參與者的距離。破天荒的嘗試,反而讓我們有機會向超過1000多個家庭介紹開平,我們還將有關短片、答問的內容及其他師生合作的成果一併上載校網,讓更多的人可以分享當中的喜悅。

 

喜悅的不單是我們看到危難中的機遇,更在於同學感受到上學非必然的那分珍惜。在恢復面授課之初,隔空以電話與各位中一家長交流,很欣喜聽到你們說孩子很喜歡上學,終於等到回校面授課了。當疫情踏入第四波,中六的同學經常抱著「最後一天」的心態認真上課,生怕隨時停課,來不及跟師長及同學道別。期待上學就會投入課堂,投入就會有得著及成長,而我亦很盼望與同學交流,期待聆聽你們的聲音。在有限的上課日,我只可於早上迎接大家,與戴上口罩的你們輕輕點頭,以眼神示好。

 

除了與學生會幹事及朋輩輔導員的真誠對話,我印象最深刻的就是與學生報《學林》小記者的訪問。我很記得她們問我:「校長,開平是第一組別的學校,在學業和田徑都比較優秀,你期望之後開平在哪一方面再上層樓?」我笑了笑,然後跟同學說,校長最想的不是要發展學校某個項目,我最想的是要發展學生,為你們提供機會,發掘你們的潛能,讓你們全部人都更上層樓。試想想,如果每位同學均找到各自閃耀的舞台,學校何愁沒有發展?這是我辦學的初心,也是我申請當校長的原因。

 

沒有人知道疫情何時退去,但我知道一切自有掌管,神自有安排,只要內心常存盼望,陽光總在風雨後。祝福大家!祝福開平!

 

陳得南校長

 

 

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