Welcome to the second feature of our Teacher’s Profile. We pride ourselves on the high calibre of our teachers and have chosen to showcase them in this 'Teacher Profile' series.
In these profiles, we ask our teachers to share a peek into their classrooms, teaching styles and personalities, so you can get to know them a little better.
Because teachers hold such an important role in children’s lives, we select our teachers very carefully. Each one must have a unique way of supporting their student’s academic and social development, by creating a comfortable, safe, stimulating and secure learning environment. They must also act as a mentor, guide, motivator, and source of inspiration to their students.
We know this is no easy task and we take our responsibility seriously when it comes to selecting only the finest educators for our students. One such fine teacher is our long-time faculty member, Mr Raymond Kong.
Mr Kong has been with us for over thirteen years and is one of our most treasured staff members, loved and respected by colleagues and students alike. He studied at the University of Portsmouth in the U.K. where he attained his B.A. (Hons) in Communication and English Studies following which he continued his studies in Hong Kong at the Polytechnic University graduating with his M.A. in English Studies for the Professions. The subjects he teaches are English, English Literature and History with a specialty in IELTS/ TOEFL/DSE/ IB / IGCSE.
"Literature and history are stimulating subjects," says Mr Kong.
When studying the pages of History, we are afforded the opportunity to learn from the mistakes that those who came before us committed. Analysing these errors helps us understand the many reasons why the world is the way it is and why people behave the way they do. This helps us confront our own ideas and in turn, extend more compassion to others. Winston Churchill said it best when he said,
"Those that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it."
Good literature is designed to be thought provoking too. To raise questions and to address issues that are not obvious. Literature, much like history, teaches us about the world we live in. Although we are learning through the lens of the author, it helps us to glimpse humanity in new ways as it deals with major themes like conflict, love, greed and the desire for power. In a society where digital devices rule the realm, and societies are becoming increasingly polarised, literature is important because of its purpose to shed light on humanity.
We asked Mr Kong why he became a teacher and his reply was simple. "To inspire and be inspired." We believe that inspiring our students should be at the guiding star for all our teachers.
"Hundreds of the students would come and tell me about their big dreams - and only a handful of them knew what they needed to do to get there. My goal is to encourage that aspiration and most importantly, guide them to fulfill that dream."
In Mr Kong’s classroom, the atmosphere is light and his teaching style is the Hybrid style. "Laughter" is how he describes it. The Hybrid style of teaching is an integrated teaching style that incorporates the teachers’ personality, preferences and interests into their teaching. Utilising this style of teaching allows Mr Kong to tailor his tutoring for different pupils.
We also asked Mr Kong to share a tip on learning a foreign language and his advice is the Krashen’s theory (1987) of the "i+1"
"If behaviourism works in terms of language learning, Education in China should have been at the top by now. Languages should always be acquired, not learned."
"Our role is to create the right level of input and to minimise all the affective filters
(Krashen, 1987) for our students."
Mr Kong believes that students should not treat learning as a 'workload' or a burden. He believes learning is a privilege and should be enjoyed as such.
Many students don’t understand just how lucky they are to be attending excellent educational institutions like ME Education. There are children in many countries who wish they could go to school, but instead are forced to work to help their parents in the home.
There are other children who wish they could learn, but the importance of education in their country is often overlooked. Here, in Hong Kong, children have access to incredible schools like ME Education and they should take advantage of the opportunities on offer.
Mr Kong has a surprising side to him and he shared with us that he hosts his own podcast and YouTube channel, we will share more details on our Facebook page soon, stay tuned!
"Every teacher can teach, but only the great ones can transform students!"
A skilled teacher can instill confidence, unlock potential and foster an interest in learning in their students. Mr Kong knows that he has the honour of preparing today’s students in their quest to shape tomorrow’s world as our next generation of thinkers, leaders and entrepreneurs and it is a privilege he truly cherishes.