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1 November 2020

1 November 2020
 
A few days ago, some of our English teachers shared their teaching experience with a secondary school.  The first reaction our teachers got wind of this sharing was: “We did it like all other teachers. There was nothing special about our teaching methods, just plain drilling.”  I don’t believe that, because there must be something our teachers keep doing well, rendering the ascending results.  Henry Ford once said, “Mediocrity is the worst enemy of prosperity”, so if we keep prospering, our teachers cannot be mediocre.  Of course, we don’t need to share what every school is doing, we need to share what we do, but others don’t, and work well for our students.  Likewise, we visited schools and observed classes of different subjects in other districts before. We need to learn what they did well for their students which we had not been doing. That “unknown” needs to become known to us first, and then we tried those tasks on our own.
 
I did some sharing on improvement measures in other schools before, and they were always skeptical and questioned the effectiveness.  Not only do people desire little in changing, but they need to feel what they have been doing is “correct”, and any form of suggestion of improvement is automatically trespassing into their territory, and is seen as criticism. John Steinbeck once said, “Only mediocrity escapes criticism.”  I wanted to add that I am not saying there is no mediocrity, but one cannot hide behind a mask to pretend to be genius when he is not. Admit his own weakness and move on; a person is allowed to be contented with his life, but he should not criticize and stop the rest to move on.
 
If we don’t make changes, if we do nothing, we will remain the same ten years from now. But life itself is educational:  that we try a task, fail, correct the mistake, and try again, and then a different task, a different failure, a different realization until we see some improvement.
 
“Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself,” said Arthur Conan Doyle. If someone keeps telling you what you wanted to do does not work without presenting any proof but just talk, run!  There are mediocre people around you preaching a complacent life; correct them.  If you fail to correct them, make better friends.
 
Anson Yang