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春風化雨三十三載 - 陳漢欽老師專訪 Exclusive Interview with our beloved Mr Damen Chan 17/10/2009
 

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在剛過去的八月,為玫瑰崗服務了三十三年的陳漢欽老師退休了。在舊生會為他舉行的榮休晚宴中,總共有超過二百人出席這歡送會,人數之多可謂歷年舊生會舉辦同類型聚會之冠。究竟陳漢欽老師有什麼魅力令那麼多學生對他擁戴、令那麼多老師同事對他的工作肯定呢?可能在你心裡還更多對陳老師的疑問,希望你能在以下陳老師的專訪找到答案。

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初執教鞭

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陳老師中學就讀於大角咀銘基書院,其後考進葛量洪教育學院,並在畢業後於一九七六年正式在玫瑰崗學校任教。當筆者問他當初為何選擇向玫瑰崗求職時,陳老師笑說:『那可說是上天的安排。因為當時其實是我在教育學院的一位同學先向玫瑰崗求職的,而那位同學在面試後向我說此校當時正招聘多名老師,並建議我直接到玫瑰崗面試。記得當時玫瑰崗的中學部仍屬私校,而我只是抱著一試無妨的心態往面試,但最終郤十分順利地被錄用了,並在玫瑰崗開始了我的教學生涯。亦因為求職過程如此順利,我這生人可是從來未需要過撰寫求職信呢!』 當時陳老師對玫瑰崗最初的印象是這所學校的環境十分幽靜和吸引,是學生們學習的好環境。 

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社之創立 

因為陳老師是來自一所有社制的學校,所以當時他對這所中學只有班制感得十分奇怪;因此,在一九七九至一九八零年度他聯同關治邦老師、盧煥聲老師、劉連芳老師、蘇彩妍老師、徐耀祥老師及郭健基老師一起為中學部創立社制,並以獨特的動物命名。而當時他們為各社取名的最初的靈感其實是來自於一所當時他們經常光顧名叫麒麟餐廳的食肆。 

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數學天王

人所共知陳漢欽老師對數學教學有一套特別的方法,所以很多他的學生都在數學方面表現卓越,那究竟他又有什麼特別的心得呢?陳老師謙說:『其實這都是從經驗中學習得來的。亦可能因為我自己從來都不是一位成績特別超卓的學生,所以我更能了解到一般學生在學習數學時會遇到什麼困難,在哪方面會較容易出錯,使我知道怎樣教導他們在答題目時避免出錯。』 

一般老師都會比較喜歡教導那些天資聰穎的學生,但陳老師就比較喜歡教導一些能力稍遜的學生,因為這些學生通常最初對數學科都不大感興趣、甚至有恐懼感,但如果他可以幫助到他們找到對數學科的興趣和信心,那種滿足感可以說比幫到那批優異生取得好成績更大。可能因為這緣故,陳老師的愛兒陳毅修亦在這方面受他影嚮,因而在數學科特別感到興趣,在大學時都是主修數學的。

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羽毛球之父 

在很多人心目中,一提起陳老師,大家便會不期然聯想起羽毛球和我校羽毛球校隊歷年來在學界戰績彪炳;最大的功勞當然要歸功於陳老師。不說大家可能不知,其實在任教玫瑰崗以前,陳老師並非經常接觸羽毛球的,從他口中得知他自願帶領羽毛球隊的原因是:『當初我想利用帶領校隊來增加接觸學生的機會。其實我真正開始多打羽毛球是帶領校隊後才開始』。雖然陳漢欽老師並沒有受過羽毛球教練的訓練,但他憑經驗而自創出來的羽毛球訓練方法使我校校隊多年來獲獎無數,在校際比賽中經常名列前茅。這些年來陳老師訓練過的羽毛球弟子可說是多不勝數,有一位更曾經是港隊代表,另外有數位現在亦是專業羽毛球教練呢。

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『在八十年代中我其實曾經試過有數年轉帶男子排球隊的;但可能排球當年在學校是一項新興運動的關係,排球隊的成績還是不太理想;所以數年後我還是決定回歸羽毛球隊直至今年退休為止。』

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從訓導主任至學生事務主任 

陳漢欽老師在玫瑰崗除了教學外,還擔任了多年的訓導主任及學生事務主任。相信有好一些舊生或許曾「獲贈」過陳老師給予的缺點、小過甚至大過吧。 『其實我並不喜歡當訓導主任,更不喜歡罵學生的。』以上一語正道出陳老師多年來在這方面的心聲。雖然後期的學生事務主任工作比當訓導主任時更能全面地幫助學生的發展,但這方面繁重的工作需要他犧牲跟學生上課的時間。雖然如此,陳老師還是覺得他的「犧牲」是值得的。多年來,陳老師就曾經幫助過不少「迷途」的學生返回「正軌」,有好些現在已成就不凡。奇怪的是當年在一般人眼中的頑劣學生往往在離校後會跟陳老師保持連絡,並與他成為了好友,這使他在教育路途中得到極大的欣慰。 

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提早引退 

當陳漢欽老師宣佈退休時,大家都覺得很驚訝;因為以陳老師目前的年紀其實還可以多教好幾年才需要考慮退休的問題。 『其實在三年前因工作上遇到一些不甚如意的事情,我已開始考慮退休的問題。那時我的太太剛退休,看著她退休後寫意生活啟發了我退休的念頭。其次,我覺得現在年紀還不是很大,可以趁自己還有精力的時候做些多年來想做的事情,去學一些多年來想學的東西,在生命中作多方面的嘗試。』 那當問到陳老師退休後可有不習慣,他說:『不會,我目前還是過著很有規律的生活的。每天早上起床後的我會先吃個早餐,然後會練習目前我正在學習的色士風。在午飯後,我每天均會花兩小時做運動,然後幫學生補習賺點生活費。』除此之外,陳老師還會定期邀請他一班現在仍在玫瑰崗任教的同事到他家中飯聚,與這班多年的戰友保持聯絡。所以他退休生活之寫意實在令筆者感到非常羡慕呢。 

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心得和寄語

 陳老師在此跟我們分享了他在三十三年教學生涯的感想和對向其他老師的寄語: 『作為老師,我當然知道在那些所謂名校任教會比較上舒服,因為它們的學生在學習上都會比較自律和主動;但我希望老師們不要因此在教學上遇上困難時感到氣餒,因為我們作為教育工作者須知道社會上每個人的資質均不相同。因此,「因才施教」尤其重要,因為那群資質稍遜的學生更需要老師的教導和啟發,使他們的潛能得以啟發。如他們能從考試零分進步至合格水平,成功感比教導那些天資聰敏的學生拿優異成績更大,這亦是教學的最終理念。』 

最後舊生會再次代表各舊生感謝陳漢欽老師這三十三年來在玫瑰崗的貢獻,在此我們希望陳老師退休後生活得更精彩,並與我們保持聯絡。  

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Our beloved and respectful teacher, Mr Damen Chan, officially retired earlier in August 2009. In the Retirement Dinner Party organized by RHSOSA, over 200 people attended the special occasion, which set the highest attendance record for such activity organized by RHSOSA. One might wonder why Mr Chan is so popular among both students and teachers? And you might even have more queries about our Mr Chan, we hope you find some of the answers from the below interview.  

Mr Damen Chan graduated from Tai Kok Tsui Ming Kei College and Grantham College of Education and he joined RHS in 1976. When we asked Mr Chan why he chose to apply to RHS, he said he had never thought about applying to RHS, “Maybe it was my destiny. In fact a school friend of mine from the College of Education applied to RHS first and after his job interview at RHS he suggested to me to go to RHS for job interview directly since RHS was hiring teachers for various subjects at that time. I still remember that RHS was a private school at that time and I did not really have much expectation after my job interview. However, my application was finally accepted and I started my teaching career in RHS and have been teaching in the same school until I retired. To be honest, I think I am quite lucky in this respect as I never needed to write one single application letter in my whole career!”.  When Mr Chan first started teaching at RHS, his first impression of RHS was the ambience of the school campus was quiet and attractive, which provides a good learning environment for the students.  

Establishment of 6 Houses

 Since Mr Chan’s previous schools all had house systems, he found it quite strange that RHS did not have one when he first started working in RHS; therefore, in the academic year 1979-1980, he established a house system together with a few other teachers including Ms Cathy Lau, Mr Robert Kwan, Mr Jonathan Kwok, Ms Amy Lo, Ms So Choi Yin and Mr Tsui Yiu Cheung. They also decided to use animal names as names for the six houses and one of the inspirations actually came from a then popular restaurant named Unicorn Restaurant. 

Outstanding Mathematics Mentor 

In school Mr Damen Chan is known to be gifted with good teaching skills in mathematics and many students have been benefited from that over the years. He humbly shared with us the reason behind it. “Actually I slowly picked up the skills over my years in RHS. Perhaps it is because I was never an outstanding student myself, that is why I then could step in the shoes of my students since I can understand at which mathematic step they would get stuck and also what kind of mistakes that they would make in examinations.” Generally most teachers would prefer teaching the smart students to teaching the average ones; however, Mr Damen Chan said he would rather teach those not-so-talented ones. It is because he thinks it would be quite an achievement if he could help those who initially are not interested in maths or even scared of the subject and change them to start feeling interested and confidence in maths. Moreover, Mr Chan’s interest in maths might also have influenced his son who  picked mathematics as his major in the university too.  

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The Badminton Hero

 Over the last 30 years RHS’ Badminton School Team has always been recognized to be one of the top school teams in Hong Kong and Mr Damen Chan should take most of the credits for that since under his supervision, countless number of awards have been won by our Badminton School Team. Moreover, Mr Chan frankly told us that he did not play badminton that intensively during his school days, but soon after he joined RHS, he voluntarily offered to be the teacher in charge of the Badminton School Team. He revealed that it was because he wanted to use the opportunity to get to know the students outside the classroom. Although Mr Chan had never been formally trained as a badminton coach, through his experience with the Badminton Team over the years, he found various innovative but effective training methods to train our school Team who is consistently winners in numerous inter-school competitions which inspired lots of badminton lovers in our Alma Mater; one of them eventually became a team member in the Hong Kong Badminton Team squad few years ago and a few others also started their career as professional badminton coaches too.

Actually Mr Damen Chan had left the badminton team once in late 1980’s as he wanted a change, and that was the time he started the Boys’ Volleyball Team. Unfortunately the sport never became very popular among RHS students so the inter-school competition results were always far from satisfactory so after a few years, Mr Chan decided to return to the Badminton Team and he stayed as their supervising teacher until he retired.  

Man of Discipline and Student Affairs

 Apart from being a teacher, Mr Damen Chan was also in charge of student discipline and student affairs for many years and that makes him a well known figure in school for the warnings, demerits…etc.  You might think he must have enjoyed being a discipline teacher; on the contrary, he revealed “Actually I do not like doing discipline related work and I also do not like scolding students.” Although he was later promoted to be the Director of Student Affairs, he had to cut his teaching hours to give way to the demanding new duties. Nevertheless, he thinks the abovementioned sacrifice was worth it as he had helped numerous ‘lost’ students getting back on the right track over the years and some of them are still good friends with Mr Chan.  

Early Retirement

 Many people were shocked when Mr Damen Chan announced his early retirement since most of them wondered why Mr Chan would retire at this age.  “I started thinking about retirement about three years ago and it was the time when I started encountering various difficult administration problems at work. It was also at that time when my wife retired and her post-retirement life had inspired me a lot as it alarmed me that I should try exploring my other potentials when I still am not too old and still have the energy.” Although Mr Chan has now retired from teaching, his life is still very routine and well organized. He normally gets up at about 7am and after breakfast he would first practise his saxophone, a new hobby he just picked up, for two hours. Then after lunch, he would do exercise for about two hours daily before he does some part-time tutoring work. In addition, he would meet up with his old comrades, the other teaching colleagues in RHS, regularly to catch up with each other.  

Sharings

After teaching in RHS for 33 years, Mr Damen Chan has to following to share with the current teachers: “I think everybody knows that teaching in those ‘prestigious’ schools would be easier and more comfortable than teaching in RHS since students in those schools normally tend to be more self-motivated. However, I still hope other teachers will remember that every student would have different types of talent. We should teach and inspire them in accordance with their talents and potentials. When comparing the job between helping an outstanding student to is get good results in examination and helping a not-so-smart student to pass the exam, l still think job satisfaction from the latter is a lot larger.”  

Finally, RHSOSA wishes Mr Damen Chan all the best after his retirement and we hope he will keep in touch with RHSOSA!   

 
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