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Hong Kong students are often criticised for lack of proactivity and self-motivation. In the light of the aggravating situation in recent years, Ms. Leung, a teacher who keeps a low profile, quit her job of more than a decade in higher education and joined KUMON four years ago. With a commitment to differentiating instruction, she helps children develop a positive attitude towards learning from the very beginning, getting them prepared for their tertiary education with strong self-learning attitude.
Getting students well-equipped for future
Passionate for education, Ms. Leung said primary and secondary students are accustomed to rote learning and make finishing homework and exams their purpose of learning. "Tertiary education requires students to gather information on their own for dissertation writing, but I see that university students usually expect to be provided with all learning materials, contrary to the way that learning should be achieved in universities. As a result, many students find themselves under pressure, with a decline in academic performance. That is why I believe that what Hong Kong needs are not only university students, but also high-caliber tertiary students. This inspired me to move from higher education to quality education and open a KUMON classroom, which is something I like to do as well as an ideal I can put to practice.”
"My two children are receiving KUMON education. As a parent of KUMON students, I know KUMON’s language and mathematics programmes are systematic, progressive and well structured, which can effectively enhance students’ abilities in Chinese, English, Mathematics and logical thinking. For example, students are able to lay a solid foundation in mathematics when guided, encouraged and inspired by their KUMON instructors. By learning beyond their school years, students can further improve their reasoning and problem-solving skills, which will help them cope with the way of learning in tertiary education focusing on problem-solving and analytical thinking. In addition, through reading a wide range of ancient and modern literary classics covered by KUMON’s Chinese and English worksheets, students can acquire knowledge beyond textbooks. With higher language skills, students will eventually be able to go deep into an article, write the gist and express their own views. In this way students can develop an interest in reading and thus a habit of researching at libraries or on the internet."
One who understands parents
Ms. Leung’s children are now senior secondary students who perform well academically, but she admitted that she had once struggled and let her children quit KUMON. "I focused more on their school grades and ignored their KUMON practice back then. Without my encouragement, my children got lost and did not feel like learning, so I let them leave KUMON. Later I realised that my children’s learning difficulties had a lot to do with my indifference, so I sent them back to KUMON starting all over again."
“As a parent, I do know parents’ problems and their real needs, so now as a KUMON teacher I communicate with parents and students proactively to understand how learning goes, and share my own experience with them. I am so fortunate to have the support and trust from many parents. Some even recommend my classroom because they see an improved learning attitude and academic progress in their children. This is so encouraging to me."
Making a difference to self and education
Ms. Leung believes that children do not necessarily rely on mock exam papers to get good grades. KUMON just provides an alternative. "I think the KUMON method may offer an opportunity to resolve Hong Kong’s education chaos because KUMON truly differentiates instruction, customizing schedules based on students' abilities. Our programmes are designed to help students review what has been taught and learn new things, and consolidate what they are still unfamiliar with, so students are able to learn happily and achieve good performance."
"I do love children and teaching. I am enthusiastic about education. KUMON really allows me to use my teaching expertise to the fullest and put my ideal to work. I made a right career decision to open a KUMON classroom four years ago. I am aware that there are many committed and capable educators here. If they wish to get out of the comfort zone and start an education business, KUMON is a good choice and I definitely recommend it."
Growing as a teacher and boss
After a few years of running a KUMON education centre, Ms. Leung sees a rising number of students. "In the early days of my business, I did face some challenges. After all, I had no experience of running a business. Fortunately the head office gave me a lot of support, helping me find a right place in my favourite Tin Shui Wai. I could learn how to operate a centre through training and team sharing. The district development officer worked and solved problems together with me, whereas the head office was dedicated to branding. I could teach with all my heart, doing my best for the benefit of children."
"I think KUMON is a people-oriented education business that costs time and patience. As long as you offer quality education to students and work hard to be a good teacher, there will be marked progress in students, and eventually the parents will speak highly of your brand and build a reputation. This is the driving force of your education centre. To me growing with students is the most attractive reward along the way.”