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Staying Fit, Staying on Task

October, 2006
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Kwok  Kwok Chow has always loved sports and has been a PE (physical education) teacher since 1997.

  It wasn’t by accident, I chose to do it,” said Kwok.

  Dulwich College was already a prestigious name to Kwok, as he lived very close to Dulwich London, and was attracted by its good reputation both in academics and in sports.  At Dulwich College Beijing (DCB), he works as a PE teacher, and teaches nearly every topic in the realm of PE, including rowing and golf lessons possibly as soon as next year.

  Football is Kwok’s personal passion, and he has been playing with a few teams in Beijing. “I am used to it here because it is similar to Bangkok where I used to teach, with a largely Asian staff.”

  Kwok was born in Hong Kong, but this fact doesn’t make it much easier for his new life here. “I don’t remember much because I moved to London when I was only three. And I can speak Cantonese, but that doesn’t really help me here in Beijing.”

  There are four PE teachers at Dulwich College Beijing, and the foursome makes a really strong team. Kwok both teaches lessons as well as coordinates the curriculum and timetable as he also did in England. DCB basically follows the National Curriculum of England, but they have adjusted curriculum to the cultural differences here in China. He believes it is more of the curricula structure than the kinds of sports taught in the school helps the students better educated.

  To Kwok, students are the same everywhere, hungry vessels that are empty and need to be filled up.

  “I teach the sports in components. To help them gain an interest in PE, not just for school, but also for the outside world in their future,” said the PE teacher. “Just make sure they are safe and they are enjoying their lessons and learning something through sports.

  .“We have a house system, which is very special to Dulwich schools. We put all the students in different houses according to their age, family and abilities. There are four houses, that is, four groups of children. The house system gives the student a collective identity and encourages competition within the school. For example, on Sports Day, different houses will compete against each other.”

  For a house meeting however, all the children come together as a family from kindergarten all the way up to Year 9. This also helps them get to know each other better and bring unity to the school. Kwok wants his students to see PE as a subject where they learn a lot about themselves, how to interact with people, how to work in a group and share responsibilities.

  “Academically PE can help with the performing arts, music, arts, etc. If you exercise you can study better and be excited about it; if you want to succeed, you need both.”

  Kwok has worked in England and Bangkok in very big schools; Dulwich College Beijing is comparatively smaller.

  “It is always better to teach smaller group of children, because you have more one-on-one interaction. In the big school you can get lost, while in a small school you get less children so that you can know more about them individually.”

  When asked what benefits Kwok gets from being a teacher, he answered: It keeps me young!?

 

By Xing Yangjian

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