We continue the Little Steps Talking Heads series, where parents can meet, greet, and get tips from Hong Kong’s Heads Of Schools. Get personal with these fabulous personalities and find out what makes them tick, their advice for parents navigating the schooling scene, and their favorite things about life in the city. In this edition, we say hello to Christy Cheung, Head of Miles ELP International Academy.
1. Do you have a nickname? “Yuyu”, it means fish in Chinese; because the last character of my Chinese name sounds the same as fish in Chinese.
2. Where were you born and where did you grow up? I was born in Hong Kong and grew up in Boston, USA.
3. Where do you live in the city and why do you love it there? I live in midlevels, which allows me to enjoy both the convenience and tranquility of living in the city. Most importantly, there are so many good restaurants in this area; my husband and I always like to explore new restaurants after we put our children to bed!
4. What's in your lunchbox? I usually have a big breakfast (with coffee for sure) in the morning and skip lunch, but if I feel hungry during the day, I would have some fruits or juice.
1. What or who inspired you? My children have always been my greatest inspiration. Seeing them grow and learn new things every day reminds me that every child is a miracle and each of them is an individual with specific interest, ability and needs. Their great little minds motivate me to create a school environment where trust between teachers and children is reciprocal; children are the leaders in the classrooms, and teachers, as the learning facilitators, respect children’s ability to learn in their own way and will always be there to inspire them. In addition, throughout the years in education, I have had opportunity to work with many great educators, child therapists and parents. Their knowledge and passion have encouraged me to do extensive study and research in child development. I hope to create a community where not only children, but also teachers and parents can also learn.
2. Describe your school in 5 words or less! Child-led nurturing community
1. What's your favorite thing on your desk and why? Little vase with fresh flowers. Flowers make me so happy!
2. What are your 3 favorite children's books? I love all the picture books by Julia Donaldson, they are creative and funny, and the rhyming texts are beneficial to children’s language learning; one of my favorite of her books is Gruffalo. I also like We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen (I don’t know any child who does not like it!) and The OK Book by Amy Krouse Rosenthal (creative way to teach children it is OK to be not so great at something).
1. What is the best way for parents to be involved in their children’s education? Bring out the inner child in you, ignite your creativity and share it with your children. Try to see things from your children’s perspective, believe in them and spend time learning together with them.
2. Any tips for parents when applying for schools? Join school tours and seminars to understand the schools before you apply. It saves your time and effort from applying for those which are not suitable for your child; it also allows you to know the school’s requirements better, which helps in the application and interview process.
3. What's the best advice a teacher or headmistress ever gave you? Learning how to learn is the most important factor in learning.