Home School Profile Principal's Message Text

1 January 2016

Happy new year to all of you. I am sure you have great plans to improve yourselves, to upgrade, to change at the beginning of a year, but make sure you follow them through and reflect on how much you have achieved toward the end of the year.  In this spirit, have you reflected on what you prepared to improve in 2015? Have they been fruitful?  Oh, at the beginning of a new year, we always have a bit of problem writing the “year” wrong; we will linger a bit on the previous number: 2015.
Change is indeed scary, because you don’t know if it works.  But I have a simple argument: if what you have been doing is not fruitful, perhaps it is time to devise something new. If the new approach did not work, what harm is there, for the old approach was also unappealing.  I had a staff development opportunity with another secondary school on language instruction not too long ago, to share successful measures done in King Ling.  Teachers there wrote me something about what they thought worked well in their classes; to be frank, not much was seen. Three minutes into the workshop I knew it would be a dead end for the teachers wanted to be spoon fed on ready-made procedures, rather than hands-on tasks to find out what might work better in their classroom. They were also defensive with whatever suggested, and failed to counter-suggest new measures. In short, “leave us alone” was in the air.  Naturally, neither these teachers nor I was happy by the end of the workshop.  But what do I care about them if they refused to change, “Stay where you are to watch the rest of the world move forward”, I said.
Aren’t I happy that my students have a set of teachers who have a very different mindset; they are reflective, humble, observant, open-minded, and most important, willing to learn and change.  As the old Chinese proverb goes, “Learning is like rowing upstream: not to advance is to drop back.” Make changes, learn wisely, progress and go upstream with hard work.
Anson Yang