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玫瑰崗上的鐵漢-郭健基老師 The "Ironman" on Rosaryhill: Mr Jonathan Kwok 31/12/2016
 

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Sharing Experience with Love 共享經歷‧傳承愛


郭健基老師(Mr Jonathan Kwok),相信他給予各校友不同的印象。在你心目中,他是穿白短褲的體育老師?魔鬼教練?課外活動負責老師?學生會領導人?玫瑰崗上的「爸爸」? 還是一位在三十多年來腰圍不會超過二十八吋的鐵漢?

郭Sir在玫瑰崗學校中學部任教三十七年後,終於在2015暑期後「無奈地放下教鞭,正式結束其全職教學生涯(註:郭Sir現在仍不定期為不同學校代課)。上述的「無奈」,完全是因為直至今天,郭Sir仍對教學和教導學生充滿著無比的熱誠。這三十多年來,郭Sir在玫瑰崗擔任過不同的工作崗位,亦因為透過這些不同的角色,無數學生在課室內或課室外受惠於他的教導,從他處學到的,終身受用。

在去年七月十一日晚,超過六百人出席了郭Sir和關治邦老師的榮休晚宴,這破了以往所有榮休晚宴的出席人數紀錄,單是這數字已足以反映兩位老師的受學生愛戴的程度。


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郭Sir在很多人心內面或者人生中都會佔有一個很重要的位置,對某些舊生而言甚至像家人一樣。可是其實我們又對郭健基老師有多了解呢?在這篇跟郭Sir做的專訪,他跟我們分享了他的童年、學生時代、教學生涯和鮮為人知的愛情故事。

 

充滿挑戰的童年

郭Sir於1954年12月3 日在中國大陸出生。當時正值中國內地生活非常艱難的時期,有不少人甚至因為沒有足夠食物而餓死,因此在1962年在郭Sir的媽媽的催促下他跟爸爸和弟弟離開了當時環境十分困難的中國大陸。郭Sir憶述:「當時我們是先乘小艇偷渡到澳門,然後再偷渡來香港。到香港時我只得八歲,我記得我們在一間在銅鑼灣分租的小單位跟另外十位房客同一屋簷下。」

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在1964年郭Sir便開始在佛教黃綽菴小學就讀,因為成績卓越,他很順利便考進皇仁書院讀中學。雖然童年時家境經常清貧,但郭Sir當時並沒有怨天尤人,他說:「我爸爸是位建築師,但由於他的專業資格是中國大陸取得,並不獲當時的香港建築界承認的,所以他當時的收入並不多。為了幫補家計,我在小學五年級時已經開始為小學四時級的學生補習。到後來,由於我是皇仁書院的學生,所以依靠以家長之間的口碑傳頌我已不愁找學生的問題。」


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體育才能

聽到這裡,訪者們不禁地問:「課餘幫人家補習已經花了那麼多時間,當時郭Sir怎會還有時間發展出後來出類拔萃的運動才能呢?

「其實那是天生的。我自認是一個很天分的運動員,我精於各種運動,其中包括田徑、游泳、足球、排球、手球等等。田徑方面,我自小已經跑得很快的。至於游泳,我中一時還未懂得游泳,後來由於學校有游泳課,所以很快便學會了,並在中二開始私人教授游泳,一直至後來在玫瑰崗學校當老師仍有繼續教授游泳。」郭Sir自豪地說。

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天生具有優秀的運動細胞,很自然地郭Sir被自小已經被挑選為學校的田徑校隊成員。「我是小學時被發掘出我有田徑方面的潛質,在皇仁書院讀中學時正式開始我田徑的生涯。」郭Sir此時並沒有借此機會炫耀自己在田徑場上各驕人紀錄,反而他跟我們分享他認為以師徒形式教授田徑的心得:「年青時我的田徑教練們在操練我們時都是非常嚴格的,但我們各隊員都上下一心,並且都想一天能成為他們那樣的田徑教練。就好像建築業的搭棚學徒都是要跟著師傅緊密地工作才能盡得師傅真傳一樣。

 

為人師表

當郭Sir從皇仁書院畢業後,在1977年便考進了當時的葛量洪教育學院。那究竟是什麽啟發郭Sir決定投身教育行業呢?他答道:「我是受到我當時的亦是任職體育老師的田徑師傅所影響的。我很像我的師傅,都是喜歡跟人分享我學到的技能和知識,尤其是我性格是很喜歡跟人接觸的。另外,教書給我一份穩定的收入讓我可以養家。」

 


詳談下,我們發覺郭Sir當年在教育學院原來主修英文,副修體育和地理。除此之外,他那時已經活躍於香港學生聯會,在中國大陸開放後經常帶領香港的學生運動代表回國內比賽和交流。

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對於為什麼他會加入玫瑰崗的大家庭,他答道:「話說在我準備升上教育學院第三年的時候,一位朋友問我有沒有興趣到玫瑰崗教書。我當時其實對求職一事其實並不十分緊張的,只是本着一試無妨的心態來玫瑰崗試試。」郭Sir現在對當時見工的情形還歷歷在目。「當時是已故校長謝天仁神父見我的。記得那時我是住在一個單位內分租的其中一個房間,我記得有一晚女房東在大廳接到一個電話後,大大聲向走廊大叫:「阿基,有個「鬼佬」揾你!」原來是謝神父致電給我,他是不太會說中文的,他在電話內向我表示想正式聘用我為老師。我當晚小心地計算一下他開出的薪金能支持家裡的開支後,我便欣然接受了這份我後來做了三十七年的工作。」

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郭老師笑道他家族可能擁有教書的基因,因為他家族這幾代已經出了四十八位老師,這驚人紀錄數年前甚至吸引到廣州一間電視台去作特別專題報導呢。

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加入玫瑰崗

郭健基老師是1978年正式加入玫瑰崗當教師的,而最初他是負責教授體育科和英語科。至今郭Sir仍十分回味著他剛剛開始在玫瑰崗教書的日子:「我真得十分感激當時的校長謝天仁神父(Fr Xavier)對我十分愛護,尤如自己子侄一樣。我記得他經常跟我下班後一起去買體育課用的體育用品,之後我們經常一起去吃晚飯,那段日子真的很開心。Fr Xavier對我很信任,當年是他委任我負責課外活動的。」此外,郭Sir亦十分感激Fr Xavier的繼任人范士豪神父 (Fr Francisco)的信任,委任他當年負責中學部的內部架構改組,最後成功地將原來超過三十個小組分成為五個組別。

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除了上述兩位神父外,郭Sir特別在訪問中提到另一位在他教學生涯中能不提的重要人物,他就是當年在玫瑰崗中學部同樣教體育科的Mr Patrick Lung。「雖然龍Sir是我的上司,但他對我從沒有架子,尤如兄弟一樣,他在工作上非常信任,讓我在體育科方面能毫無顧慮地隨我的想法去發揮,並全力支持我去制定體育科的課程範圍、教師指引等,令體育科老師能有一套系統去教授體育科。」

由學生時代開始至後來獲委任為學校老師代表,郭Sir慢慢掌握到主持會議的技巧,而他亦十分喜歡透過會議和撰寫建議書來把他同的想法一一實踐出來。郭Sir跟筆者們分享他喜愛會議的原因: 「會議能讓與會者互相刺激思維,因為我們能透過討論,取長補短地去找出最理想的方案。」

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除以上提過的工作外,令郭Sir感到自豪的事是在1979至1980年度他聯同多位老師(關治邦老師、陳漢欽老師、徐耀祥老師、劉連芳老師、蘇彩姸老師、孫美英老師和Ms Amy Lo)在中學部創立了六個社。另外,他亦有份在學校二十五週年銀禧紀念時參與開創師生同樂日,讓學生和老師透過這一年一度的活動增進大家的友誼。

 

破舊立新育英才

因為得到多位校監和校長的信任,郭Sir在籌備學校活動時一向敢於向學校提出新的主意。例如在1979至1980年時創立社際越野賽跑,當時的形式為一個迷你馬拉松,地點為大潭水塘,到後來才移師到山頂舉行。

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郭Sir亦提出在陸運會加入金一哩賽跑和啦啦隊比賽,以增加陸運會的氣氛。「我視陸運會為一個嘉年華會,不應只限於頂尖運動員的。它應該是一個所有人都參與的運動會,為所有到場的人提供一個參與的機會。所以金一哩賽跑就可達到這個目的,它只要求參加者在一個十分寬鬆的限時內跑四個圈便能為自己所屬的社取得分數。我特別把這這個比賽設定為沒有輸贏,因為這比賽的主要目的是為陸運會創造一個題材去談論和參與,為這日子營造一個氣氛,並將這傳統一年一年地傳承下去。」我校獨特的金一哩甚至被傳媒兩次報導過。除此之外,郭Sir亦創立了年度男運動員和年度女運動年獎,以表揚和鼓勵在運動方面有卓越表現的學生。

在培養學生領袖方面,郭Sir在1990年接手學生領袖訓練營的籌辦工作。他將本的學習培訓形式改為歷險形式,使參加領袖訓練營的學生能在有限時間內一起完成指定的任務。

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學生會的轉捩點

1980年代中期他成為學生會負責老師開始,在一眾課外活動中,郭Sir在中學部的學生會上花了他以往相當的心機和時間。基於他本人年青時積極參與學生事務,他深信學生應該在年少時培養出大眾責任感。

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在他領導的眾多屆學生會中,郭Sir對兩件事的記憶尤其深刻,「記得在1988年我向當時的中學校長謝天仁神父建議把當時在地庫的一間玻璃房改為學生會永久會址。那房間只是由玻璃作間隔,所以謝神父可以隨時看到房間內學生會幹事的活動情況,因此他欣然接受我的提議。另外,在同年學生會會長選舉正式由一人一票產生。」當然這樣的選舉亦是由郭Sir推動而成的。

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關於學生會的第二個難忘事是在1989年的暑假,郭Sir與一班當時的學生會幹事合力撰寫學生會會章。「我記得那年夏天我跟幾位學生會幹事一起研究和定下學生會的功能和各幹事的角色,並清楚定下會議程序和規矩。」這項工作的目的是為了進一步使學生會成為一個具代表性的團體外,亦為了加強跟學校管理層合作的伙伴關係,為學校和學生的福祉共同合作。

 

課外活動的靈魂人物

郭Sir在玫瑰崗擔任了多年負責課外活動的課外活動主任,他負責過的課外活動可謂而香港青年獎勵計劃是其中一個他多年來十分投入參與的課外活動,亦即是九七回歸前的愛丁堡獎勵計劃。這計劃的 其中一部份是要他在假期或週未帶領着參加的學員背着背包往登山和露營。其實郭Sir本應可以在工餘的時間安在家中,舒舒服服地休息,但他郤選擇犧牲他的私人時間,只是為了培養學生們課室以外的能力而去跟一眾參加該計劃的學生一同經歷艱辛的旅程。

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不說不知,郭Sir熱愛體育外,他亦十分熱衷藝術方面的活動。例如他在2006年在一個名為Rainbow Connection的學校音樂會中擔任監製一職,當時反應十分熱烈。該音樂會九年後在2015年再度在跑馬地社區會堂舉行,郭Sir在選曲、演出安排、票務各排和支出各方面均有參與。「我希望透過由已畢業和現役學校合唱團成員組成的Rosarian Singers,可以讓這個音樂節目一直傳承下去,與一眾老師、學生、校友和家長分享Rosarian Singers的美妙音樂。」

 

眾人師父

可能因為郭Sir以前是由師徒制下培訓出來,所以他亦一直採用這種方式培訓他的一眾得意門生。「雖然我當年中學時代的師父很嚴格地斷催谷我要我突破自己極限,但我一直十分相信他的方法是對的,因為我相信他可以我幫我發揮我的最佳潛能,讓我創造最佳成績。」多年來郭Sir亦用同樣模式,以嚴苛的方法去訓練一眾田徑校隊的徒弟,間接幫他們培養出自我鞭策和經得來挫折的生活態度。

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多年來郭Sir與他歷屆的田徑隊徒弟一直保持緊密的關係,視他們如自己子女一樣,經常與他們眾會。一眾徒弟亦以師兄弟妹亦互相關心,尤如一個大家庭。

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鮮為人知的一面

很多人都會很好奇,郭Sir對他校內各樣工作都全心全意地投入,他怎樣能再騰出時間陪伴他的家人呢?他坦白承認:「無疑我繁忙的工作令我很難給予我的家庭很多的時間,但他們一直都十分體諒這是我對這教學工作的態度。我太太和兩名兒子亦有出席去年7月11日的退休晚宴,他們亦被當晚的氣氛深深感動,我相信當他們親眼看到那麼多舊生來出席,並親耳聽到各舊生分享我跟他們各人的經歷和故事,他們會更明白以前我為何我經常那麼忙碌。

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八十年代的舊生其實對郭太應該不會陌生,因為郭太 Ms Doris Cheung當年亦曾經在玫瑰崗中學部任教體育科,學生們在她背後均稱她為「靚女Miss」在訪問過程中訪者們均對郭Sir郭太太的愛情故事十分有好奇,追問當年如何追求郭太太,郭Sir只道:「其實我們第一次正式傾談是在一體育科會議中,當時我們還為各自的看法不同各持己見呢!」後來郭Sir終於向我們透露當年他的學生以他名義送花給Miss Cheung,幫他發動攻勢,結果他們在相識一年後,1985年正式拍拖,並在1991年共諧連理。


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眾所周知,郭Sir有兩位兒子,他們均是熱愛體育。然而,郭Sir說自己並沒有特意哉培他們成為精英運動員。他說:「我只為他們選了一間鼓吹德育和支持課外活動的好學校而已,讓他們在一個很好的學習環境成長,找尋自己的路向。」

 

金石良言

在訪問結束前,我們問郭Sir在過去三十多年教學生涯中有沒有什麽可以跟大家分享的。他說:「我認為每個學生都是獨特的,不能用同一模式去教導每一個學生,教師亦不能當學生是自己教書工作的產品。相反,老師應該尊重每個學生都有自己獨有的特質和個性,並為他們提一個理想的環境去發掘自己的潛質。

這些年來,郭Sir一直重視學生的性格培養,希望透過各種方法,幫助他們找尋屬於自己的夢想。

這次訪問其實在去年七月進行,期間因為筆者們的工作關係,所以遲遲未有完成。在此我們向向各位和郭Sir致歉。

 

Interview with Mr Jonathan Kwok

 

Sharing Experience with Love 共享經歷‧傳承愛

 

 

A Beloved & Dynamic Teacher

 

What images do you think of when talking about Mr Jonathan Kwok? A PE teacher in a pair of white shorts, a Geography teacher, a devil coach, a diehard supporter of student council, a leader of extra-curricular activities, an inspirational mentor, a father figure, or simply a man who can keep his slim figure for over three decades?

 

After having taught in the Secondary Section of our alma mater for 37 years, our beloved Mr Kwok reluctantly retired in the summer of 2015. His reluctance arose from his strong passion for teaching and care for students, which had made RHS an integral part of his life. Having worn different heads in RHS, this dynamic and sometimes unorthodox teacher has touched the hearts of countless number of students inside and outside classroom. The record-breaking retirement dinner party with over 650 guests attending on 11 July 2015, organized by RHSOSA for both Mr Robert Kwan and Mr Kwok, speaks for itself his charm and popularity.

 

Many of us feel close to Mr Kwok with him taking a special place in our hearts. But, how much do we really know him? In this candid interview, Mr Kwok shares with us his childhood, school, career and even love stories.

 

 

Challenging Childhood

 

Born on 3 December 1954, a time of turmoil in the Mainland China, Mr Kwok was urged by his loving mother to escape with his father and younger brother from the famine in China in 1962. Mr Kwok recalled, “We stowed away on a small boat smuggling ourselves to Macau and then Hong Kong. Arriving in Hong Kong at age 8, we settled in a subdivided flat in Causeway Bay with over 10 tenants living under one roof.”

 

Mr Kwok studied Primary One at Buddhist Wong Cheuk Um Primary School in 1964 and secondary school in Queen’s College. His early years were a bit bumpy. Yet, when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. He had no complaint at all and even said proudly, “At that time, my father was an architect, but not earning much. To make our ends meet, I started tutoring younger students to shoulder the family burden. I tutored Primary Four students when I was only Primary Five. I was later benefited from the word-of-mouth as a Queen’s College student when finding a tutor job.”

 

Sport Talent

 

With such a busy schedule to earn money and study, how could Mr Kwok find time to develop his sport skills? When was his athletic talent discovered?

 

Not shy about his talent, Mr Kwok said, “It came naturally to me. I was well-rounded, good at different kind of sports, like running, swimming, football, volleyball, basketball, hand ball, etc. I ran very fast, lightning fast.” He added, “I didn't know swimming at all in Form One. Having learnt the skills, I became very good at it and started to teach swimming in Form Two to earn my pocket money.” Mr Kwok disclosed that he gave private swimming lessons since then until he became a RHS teacher years later.

 

Blessed with natural athletic talent, there was no surprise that Mr Kwok was selected for his school’s athletic team. “My teacher in primary school discovered my potential for field and track, and I started my athletic life in Queen’s College,” he said. Instead of showing off his tournament championship records, Mr Kwok expressed his admiration for the master-apprentice system in coaching. “We were under tough training by our devil coaches. But, we were all happy as a team and aspired to becoming our si-fu.” To illustrate, “It’s like in the trade of bamboo scaffolding where apprentices worked closely with their scaffolding master to acquire the skills.”

 

Road to becoming a Teacher

 

After graduation from Queen’s College, Mr Kwok furthered his study in Grantham College of Education in 1977. When asked about his mindset for teaching, Mr Kwok revealed, “I was indeed inspired by my private athletic coach who was a PE teacher. Like my si-fi, I love to share what I learned. I enjoy the human interaction. Also, teaching provided me the incentive to earn money for my family at that time. ”

 

One may be surprised to know that Mr Kwok was major in English, with PE and Geography only his elective subjects at Grantham College of Education. Also, he was actively participated in The Hong Kong Federation of Students (HKFS). Together with other HKFS members, he led the first student sports team to the Mainland for competition and exchange after the opening of China.

 

Regarding his road to RHS, Mr Kwok explained, “While I was preparing for Year Three in Grantham College, a friend of mine asked if I would be interested in teaching at RHS. I was not actively looking for a job at that time, but I guessed it’s no harm to give it a try.” Subsequently, Mr Kwok attended an interview with our then Father Principal, the late Father Lionel Xavier. He recalled vividly what happened after the interview, “That night my landlord picked up the phone in our common living room and shouted across the corridor, ‘Ah Kee, a gwei lo called you!’” Being budget-conscious, Mr Kwok quickly worked out his balance sheet and accepted Fr. Xavier’s offer over the phone.

 

It is no coincidence that Mr Kwok indeed came from a family of educators. There were 48 teachers from the relatives on his mother’s side. The amazing number attracted the media’s attention and his relatives were interviewed by a Guangzhou TV station reporter years ago.

 

Embraced by RHS Family

 

Mr Kwok was assigned to teach both PE and English subjects when he first joined RHS in 1978. He still remembers many sweet moments in his early years in RHS. Expressing his heartfelt gratitude, he said, “I am deeply grateful for the kindness of Fr. Xavier. He treated me like his son. He would join me to buy PE equipment and then treat me dinners. He put his trust in me and let me in charge of extra-curricular activities.” Equally, he is grateful to Fr. Francisco, the succeeding Father Principal, for entrusting him with the reform of the school administrative structure in the late 1990s. Mr Kwok headed the task force to restructure and scale down over 30 committees to five offices, which has become the current administrative structure. “It was a challenging but rewarding task,” Mr Kwok said with a contended smile.

 

Another person who made Mr Kwok feel like home was Mr Patrick Lung. “Lung Sir was my supervisor. He treated me like his brother. He was willing to teach me, give me room for developing the PE curriculum, the teacher's handbook, to establish a systematic way to teach physical education.”

 

Due to his active participation in inter-school activities as a student and later as a teacher representative of RHS, Mr Kwok acquired the skills for convening meetings. He loves to hold meetings and write proposals to put his ideas into action. Mr Kwok has his own philosophy about meeting. “Meeting is an efficient way to brainstorm and stretch our minds to resolve issues. It’s a great opportunity to train us to think out of the box,” he said.

 

In the academic year of 1979-80, Mr Kwok joined hands with a few other teachers, including Mr Robert Kwan, Mr Damen Chan, Mr Tsui Yiu Cheung, Ms Cathy Lau, Ms Amy Lo, Ms So Choi Yin, and Ms Betty Suen, to establish a house system. In 1984, he helped to make happen the first Teacher-Students Day to celebrate the silver jubilee of RHS, which has become an annual warm-hearted event for students, teachers and alumni coming together to connect and share joys and laughers.

 

Creative and unorthodox ways of teaching

 

With the trust of both Father Principals and his supervisor, and numerous exposures to various new ideas, Mr Kwok was enthusiastic about proposing different creative ideas to the school management and bold to make changes. He initiated the Inter-House Cross Country Competition in the academic year of 1979-80, which was started small in the first year as a mini-marathon and took place in Tai Tam reservoir (before moving to the Peak).

 

He was the pioneer to introduce the “Go One Mile” and cheerleading sessions to Sports Day to enhance the atmosphere of the sporting events. “I see the Sports Day as a festival for everyone, not a day event for the top athletes. It’s a mass sports event, a topic for everyone to discuss and get involved. And the “Go One Mile” serves that purpose, as every participant is required to run four laps to score points for their House. There are no winners or losers. It’s important to create the atmosphere, a habit to carry on from year to year.” He said proudly, “The idea of “Go One Mile” is unique and was reported by the media twice.”

 

It was also Mr Kwok who created the awards for Sports Boy and Sports Girl of the Year to motivate the athletes.

 

Mr Kwok took over the Student Leadership Training Camp in 1990, which was a turning point for a change. Considering that the camp was a training ground for student leaders, he took the opportunity to reform the training format from counselling-based to adventure-based. “It’s something like group dynamic where students work together to accomplish a narrow range of goals within a specified time period. The training created positive energy,” he said fervidly.

 

Watershed Moments of Student Council

 

Among all the extra-curricular activities, Mr Kwok spent a good portion of his time on Student Council. He became the advisor to the Student Council in the mid-1980s. Largely because of his active participation in student affairs in his youth, he strongly believes that students should have a sense of responsibility toward their community.

 

Mr Kwok recalls two important moments in Student Council, “In 1988, I submitted a proposal to Fr. Xavier for converting the glass room in the basement into a permanent office of Student Council. Fr. Xavier could see through the glass door and welcomed the move. It was also in the same year that students took part in the election under a “one-man, one-vote” basis.” Needless to say, Mr Kwok was the driving force to launch the campaign for universal suffrage.

 

The second important moment was the amendments to the Constitution of the Student Council. “I worked closely with the 1989 Student Council committee members during the summer to amend the Constitution line by line in order to better define the role of Student Council and each committee member, as well as to set out the meeting procedures.” His roadmap was to enhance the status of Student Council to become a truly representative body and work in partnership with the school management for the benefits of both the school and students.

 

Mastermind of Extra-curricular Activities

 

Mr Kwok was involved in myriads of extra-curricular activities; for instance, The Hong Kong Award for Young People (AYP), formerly known as The Duke of Edinburg Award Scheme. One part of the program was expedition, where he led the participants to take the challenge of hiking and wild camping with backpacks over the weekends and during school holidays.

 

It was an admirable task worthy of big applause, but often got unnoticed, for teachers like him to spend their spare time on students during their leisure time. Instead of sitting cosily at home, he chose to join his students and do assessment during the tough journeys, which often took place in a windy and rainy day. Many of the participants of extra-curricular activities like AYP were actually not taught by Mr Kwok in any classroom subject, but magically they could build a close relationship outside the classroom.

 

Unknown to many, there is an artistic side of Mr Kwok. With multiple talents, he took up the role of producer of Rainbow Connection, a music concert started in 2006 with the latest one held in 2015. Mr Kwok was in charge of overseeing songs selection, stage performance and project finance. “I hope this event could carry on and establish as a tradition for teachers, students, alumni, and parents, coming together to enjoy the music by our Rosarian Singers, comprising both former and existing school choir members,” he said.

 

An Enduring Legacy

 

As a believer in the master-apprentice system, Mr Kwok sees there is more in a teacher-student relationship. “My si-fi in secondary school pushed me to go beyond my limits. Yet, I looked upon him, as he could bring the best out in me.” Following the footsteps of his role model, Mr Kwok acted as a tough coach, yet also a motivator, to encourage his students to strive for better, build endurance and bond closely as a team. He believes that the close interaction could build not only a strong team but also an enduring relationship.

 

To sustain the sense of belonging, Mr Kwok has organised regular gatherings in particular for the athletic teams over the years. He delegates the coordination work to a senior alumni acting as a big brother to connect with his juniors. He is proud of the strong bond among the teammates and delighted to see the eternal flame. Yet, from another perspective, Mr Kwok himself is indeed the glue that holds students from different years together.

 

Family Life

 

With his devotion to school and student activities (such as sports teams, student council, extra-curricular activities, even wedding banquets of graduates), one may wonder how he could find time for his family. Mr Kwok admitted that, “Inevitably, there were conflicts at some points. But my family members were very tolerating. In fact, they were touched by the atmosphere of the 11 July retirement dinner and became even more understanding.”

 

Students in the 1980s would know that Mr Kwok’s wife is Ms Doris Cheung, who was also a PE teacher in RHS with an enviable nickname “pretty woman” at that time. When asked about his love story, Mr Kwok deliberately maintained his masculinity and said in a monotone, “Our first encounter was actually an argument.” Partly with the help of his students who bought flowers for Ms Cheung on his behalf, the couple started dating in 1985, one year after they met, and got married in 1991.

 

Kwok’s family has two sons who are both outstanding athletes. Yet, Mr Kwok said he did not particularly train them to be elite athletes. “I simply helped them find a good school, which values moral education and supports extra-curricular activities. All I did was to provide an atmosphere for them to grow and strive for excellence.”

 

Words of Advice

 

When asked about words of advice to share with his fellow RHS teachers, Mr Kwok said “Each student is unique. Teachers should not take pride in their works by treating students as their products. Instead, teachers should respect the uniqueness of each individual student and provide the right environment for them to explore and excel.”

 

Over the years, Mr Kwok places a strong emphasis on building character in students, helping young minds to dream big and letting the students lead. He would go extra miles to discover their buried potential and to make dull class come alive. There is a saying that “The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” Without doubt, Mr Kwok is the latter one.

 

Written by Juliana Wong

 

 
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