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工作和學習

習慣了寫家書,又總結一下自己的教學和人生心得,有話直說請別介意。It's my habit to write family letters to my students as a self-reflection on things I have learnt, please do excuse if they are too direct.


1.以每堂為一個主題 Theme-based lessons 我們的課堂以荷蘭的Step Method為主,但是教了一年發覺其實學生沒完成功課是常態,所以如果要求學生要完成功課才上課不可能。之前想不通,有兩三個學生和家長都是這樣嚇走。 We use Step Method in our teaching, but after a year I have observed that no finishing homework is more often the case. Back then, there were a few students and parents whom I scared off because of the persistence in homework and off-lesson support. 教學上要有連續性很好,但是我已經看過太多例子,學的時候如何有熱情家長說會長期學,但是最後不到一年就停一來了。更傾向覺得其實多變的是世事,而人太無力預視,上課應以每課為一個獨立主題,只要能在那一課將那一個概念講好就夠,不必想得太長遠。 It is good to have continuity in teaching, but there are plenty of cases where students or parents have promised continuity at first, but dropped within a year. It is not the parents and students, but the turbulent lives people nowadays are living, that is the problem. Each lesson should instead talk about an individual concept (but not a whole series), and as long as that concept is well explained in the lesson, it is alright.


2.學習的成功 Habits for Learning 家長一起學習,准時上課和交功課,參加比賽,這三項因素不可或缺。 Parents learning together with children, hand-in homework and attend class weekly, participation in competitions, these three factors are most crucial. 家長最好可以一起學習又可以指導學生和追功課,不能的話只是每週下幾盤棋就好,都不能的話確保功課有交就好。不能將太多責任都推給家長和學生,也不應該在課上追功課(上課盡量要做些互動性較高的課題),所以要懂得之前講過的每課一課題,功課是飯,上課是肉和菜。


Best is to both learning and following up with students' homework, if not just playing with kids is better, or the minimal making sure the homework is finished. It is not good to push the responsibility to parents, nor doing homework during class (Should aim for something more fun and interactive), so best to keep one-topic-one-class policy. Homework is rice, lesson is dish.


准時上課和交功課也是關鍵,訓練任何興趣都是訓練習慣,和興趣及天份沒大關係,良好的習慣將能使孩子學習什麼都好。參加比賽是事上練,能推動他們認識朋友和現實,沒有比賽(出路)不可能有效看見學習成果。 Attend class every week and homework are crucial. All training and classes are training habit, and nothing to do with talent nor interests, good habit allows children to walk a long way. Attending competition is important for students to know friends and face reality, without competition it is hard to motivate and assess lesson effectiveness.


3.運用 Usage


和資優教育學苑的合作確定了,下棋有趣但要實用,所以我利用了AlphaZero,還有一些交易概念講講概率的運用。甚至是Freakonomics,Principle,Thinking Fast and Slow都能用國際象棋好好講。其中AlphaZero對於預測,概率統計都有貢戲,大人能學的概念小孩也能聽。我想讓國際象棋主流化。


Co-op with Hong Kong Academy for Gifted Education is confirmed. Ches is fun but also needs to be educationally practical, so I used AZ and some stock-trading concepts to talk about estimation. Also books like FKES, Principle, TFaS can also use the concept of chess and be explained well. AZ has good contribution towards estimation, forecast, which children can learn together with adults. I want to mainstrea-ise chess.


4.疫情和學生流失 Pandemic and Student Loss 上興趣班對大部份學生和家長看來是額外的,孩子和家長們都忙,一對一的個人老師上課所有的自由度是學校所不能比擬,有很多時候如果那週不上課,家長和學生都沒有提前通知的習慣。但是你自己卻不能因為學生和家長有事,便不在那一週吃飯和交房租,也因時間多變而無法兼職。 Chess class is something extra to have for the students and parents. We are all busy, and there is flexibility in having 1-1 lessons, and often when not having classes, they wouldn't actively informing you that the classes are canceled. Still, it is impossible to stop eating and paying your rent just because they cannot have lesson or reschedule that week, part-time is also impossible due to constantly changing time requests. 說實話,自疫情過後,不少學生和家長再也沒有主動聯絡,而我也覺得不好意思追他們上課。知道下棋有好處的家長和學生會主動追上課的時間和交功課,你不必窘於對他們解釋下棋的好處。有好幾個我特別關心的學生都再也沒有找過我。所以疫情過去,我想這個流失學生的情況會一路持續下去。


After the lockdown, quite a number of students and parents never find me again, and I dont feel comfortable finding them, if they want a lesson and feel they have learnt something, they would find me again, you don't have to chase nor explain anything. Indeed there were a few favourite students of own never find me again since. This student bleeding-loss will continue for a few months I guess.


5.轉型 Transformation


之前想做的四類推廣(傷健,新移民,少數族裔,青少年囚犯)都因自己個體戶,大機構只有興趣做些piece-meal的一兩期免費教學,而不會長期合作。要推廣,做一些更長期的合作,和舉辦一些分組別的賽事(而不是所有小朋友都用年齡去區別,他們應用實力去區分),需要成立一間機構去做。此外,還有一些和其他人不同的國際象棋教學影片想試試做。


Have been trying to broaden chess's social impact (Disability, New Immigrants, Ethnic Minority, Juvenile) However as an individual NGOs dont really want to look to long-term co-op. If you want to do longer-term promotions, and say setting up competitions that divide players according to strength (not age), then you need to establish an organisation to work on the idea. Also, need to try and film something different from ordinary chess videos.


因此,如果覺得學生不會找自己上課,也無需主動再打擾家長。之後會開始看看時間上能否回去找一份比較穩定的全職工作,現在的學生就讓他慢慢流失到可以讓我自己更靈活安排時間的數目。


So if students aren't coming back, there's no need to keep bothering the parents. I'd see whether the natural loss of students can allow myself to go back and find a more stable full-time job.


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