Mr. K.L. Tang


One of the longest-serving male sports coaches at an all-girls school, Mr. K.L. Tang comes across as soft-spoken and friendly. Old girls say he is a man of few words. Those who have been taught and trained by him are thankful to him for influencing them, as evidenced by the recent retirement party in March hosted by old girls whom he has coached over 35 years. It was a memorable day for Mr. Tang, who had just led the DGS Athletics Team on an 11-year winning streak at the Division One Inter-School Athletics Competition following three days of track and field competitions at the Wan Chai Sports Ground.

                    
Division One Inter-School Athletics Competition 2017                                Retirement Party



“Top athletes must build the right foundation,” emphasised Mr. Tang during an interview with members of DOGA Editorial Sub-committee. “If the foundation is not good, you would fall eventually. You must be patient and not rush it. If you build upon an unsteady foundation, it gets harder to reach the top.” Mr. Tang’s own foundation in athletics was built early in life, during his primary and secondary school years, when he participated in sprinting, long jump, and throwing events. “There was no full-time coach in those days. The older athletes coached the younger ones.” He recalls going to weekly invitational athletic meets in the 1970s, with HK$5 of pocket money per day, less than half of which was used to buy lunch boxes. His proud achievements included defeating the Diocesan Boys’ School and Fung Kai Secondary School athletics teams, the latter of which won many meets but was always defeated by Mr. Tang’s relay team. He had also held the inter-school record for discus throwing.

 

>                           
Mr Tang’s countless awards as an athlete and sportsman                                  As athletics coach at the 1986 Asian Games, Mr Tang
                                                                                                               helped to publicise for the 1988 Olympics



Mr. Tang spoke of two influential figures in his youth, both of whom inspired him to become a teacher and coach. The first was a teacher who tutored him one-on-one after school as he had to miss classes to attend athletic meets. “I was inspired by my teacher’s dedication to teaching, so I would always rush back for his tutorial.” Another was an athletics coach from another secondary school, whom he had met during one of the invitational meets and who eventually became his coach. “My coach was the one who inspired me to become one myself,” he said.

Why did he become a male coach at a girls’ school? After graduating from Grantham College of Education, Mr. Tang initially became a “coach of coaches”, teaching more than 120 P.E. teachers at Grantham, many of whom have since become coaches at other schools. “In those days, it was hard to find female coaches for throwing events, and that’s where I specialised. That’s why I was recruited by DGS,” he recalled.

 

Mr Tang led the HK team, including athletes and swimmers from DGS, to overseas competitions.


Mr. Tang played an instrumental role in developing more than 20 sports programs at DGS, the first of which was basketball in 1982. Over the years, he introduced other sports including cross country and volleyball. In recent years, he also added sports programs as diverse as dodgeball, indoor rowing, golf, archery, bowling, handball, and Dragon Boat racing. Some of these programs were started in the temporary campus in Shum Shui Po during the 1 Jordan Road campus renovation. “We had no space for sports, so indoor rowing and dodgeball were good choices.” He added that offering more diverse sports was a way to encourage more girls to participate.

Mr. Tang praises DGS girls both past and present as having very good team spirit and being well-behaved. He thinks the girls nowadays are multitalented and proactive in reaching out to teachers for guidance and assistance. Athletes are physically stronger and start training earlier, due in part to better nutrition and availability of sports venues. The athletics facilities at the newly renovated DGS campus also provide more resources for girls to engage in sports training.

 

                                                   
Mr Tang in GD bib at a Teachers vs Senior Prefects Friendly Netball Match in 1990s                        Coach in action


However, Mr. Tang thinks that the older generation of girls possessed a tougher mentality. “It may be that life is too smooth nowadays,” he reflected. “Setbacks and failures are necessary in training athletes’ mentality, so that they can overcome pressure and endure. Success does not come quickly. Building a solid foundation is key. My goal is to let athletes see their weakness, so that they know where to improve.”

He has a dual strategy for training athletes. Those who are used to winning need to compete in the big races first—ones that are more challenging to win. That way, they realise they are small fish in a big pond. When they feel challenged, they work harder. Those who lack confidence, on the other hand, need to compete in small races first, so they can slowly build up confidence.

When thinking of what he would miss most after leaving DGS, Mr. Tang’s immediate response was, “The students!” He treasures the special bond between the student and the teacher. Alongside parents, teachers play a vital role in the girls’ teenage years at DGS, helping them to develop their skills and discover their potential, as well as identify their strengths and weaknesses. He will miss the unique school environment at 1 Jordan Road, which provides a lot of resources, both for teaching and learning.

When asked about his two daughters, Mr. Tang spoke with a sparkle in his eyes, the way a proud father would. All three of his children, including his eldest son, now a college sophomore in the U.S., grew up as swimmers and athletes. In sharing about training his children, Mr. Tang offered more words of wisdom. “They have to like it themselves. Sports helps build confidence. You have to have expectations for yourself. No one can force you.” After he retires, he will of course continue to stay fit. “Nothing is more valuable than having a healthy and happy life!” Finally, for current and future DGS athletes, he has this piece of advice: 正選位置是自已争取,不是我给予妳的!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ex - Teacher: Ms Teresa Kan

Teresa Kan known to some of her students as Miss T. Kan and others as Mrs. T. Wong met Helen Wong and Delpha Ho of the Editorial Subcommittee of DOGA on 26th October, 2002, just before the concert of the Diocesan Graduate Singers at school that evening. Teresa has kindly shared with us some of her recent photos, which you see together with this article.

Having taught at DGS for over 30 years, Teresa has by now retired from teaching at our school for about 7 years. While she found that retirement gives her much more free time and necessarily more relaxing than teaching, her love of teaching has resulted in a brief (3 year) stint of teaching after an initial couple of years of rest. In her retirement, she found that she misses DGS girls all the more.

The winning smile ...

(photo taken from Teresa's visit to Szechwan)

Enjoying herself and at peace with nature

(photo from Teresa's visit to the Rocky Mountains)

Teresa taught sciences at DGS to students from Forms 1 through to Form 3 at various times, and had worked under the two different headmistresses, Dr. CJ Symons and Mrs. Elim Lau. She said that in the early days of teaching (to her surprise) some students subsequently told her that she was considered one of the stricter teachers then at school and would stand for no misbehavior.

Teresa shares her passion for singing with others at a dance hall

Even though she is actually a cheerful and fun-loving personality, she certainly knew how to command the respect of her students. One wonders what the students would have thought had they seen Teresa's limbo rocking away at DOGA annual dinner 2002!

Teresa wants her ex-students to know that she is keeping well and is enjoying herself. She is certainly keeping slim and trim with her three times a week social dancing sessions. She has also kept up with her singing.

We asked Teresa what she found was most memorable of her years of teaching at DGS. She said she found that she was still learning throughout her years of teaching. "To me, [while I was teaching], DGS was also my school. I was not only a teacher, I was also a student of DGS." What she found most gratifying since her retirement was that the ex-students have constantly kept in touch with her. On her part, she felt the pull of DGS and is becoming a regular participant at DOGA functions.

When asked whether she felt that there are any material difference in DGS students over the years, Teresa commented that she felt that her first students had in general a stronger sense of belonging with the school while the students she had closer to her retirement seemed to be much more practical minded.

To all DGS girls, Teresa encourages them "to keep up with the DGS spirit" - this she felt is one of the most important legacies that a DGS girl could take away from school.

 

 

 

 

 

Interviewed and written by

Delpha Ho


However stern she might be, ex-students have kept in touch with Teresa

.

Interview with Mrs. Christina Chiang - Music Director of DGS & DGJS

 

Mrs. Christina Chiang met with Audrey Tam and Andrea Lai of the Editorial Sub-Committee to share and talk about her devotion in teaching music.

It was a warm and bright spring afternoon, a pleasant time of the year to meet Mrs. Christina Chiang who took a break from her busy schedule after a round of choir rehearsals in the morning. Mrs. Chiang greeted us with her usual brilliant smile at the new campus. While it was the School’s Easter break, the DGJS choir continued to meet in preparation for the upcoming competition at the World Choir Games in Cincinnati, USA this summer. Mrs. Chiang insisted on having the interview before taking her lunch. Her professionalism as a music teacher has not changed a bit.

Mrs. Chiang’s education path began at DGS where she attended Kindergarten to Form 6 all the way (the KG hut era before the swimming pool was built in its place)! She then studied at the Teachers’ Training College and further advanced her tertiary education at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Baptist University.

In her school days, Mrs. Chiang participated in a great variety of activities, for example, solo and choral singing, folk dancing and joint school drama performances. She was also a member of the school’s netball team and the table-tennis team.

Her music interest and training developed and flourished while studying at DGS. Music teachers from both primary and senior schools have deeply inspired her passion towards music. Mrs. Chiang was taught by Mrs. Jane Shen when she was attending primary school. In her secondary years, Mrs. Chiang was taught four years of music by Miss Maneely, a Scottish lady with immaculate conducting skills, whom Mrs. Chiang described as ‘a very inspiring but demanding teacher’. Looking back, perhaps it was this music teacher who was monumental in instigating Mrs. Chiang to become who she is today in the field of music.

Growing up within a church environment, Mrs. Chiang was further influenced by the conductor of her church choir. Her career aspiration became crystal clear having come across these inspiring teachers during the early stages of her life.

Mrs. Chiang returned to the School as a music teacher in 1972. The headmistresses she has worked with include Dr. Symons, Mrs. Yip and Mrs. Blomfield. After ten years of teaching at DGJS, Mrs. Chiang left to become a Music Lecturer at the (then) Colleges of Education, now, the Hong Kong Institute of Education. In 1993, her love for the School brought her back to her alma mater once again under the leadership of Mrs. Stella Lau and Mrs. Emily Dai.

Throughout the many years of teaching at DGS and DGJS, the most rewarding experience for Mrs. Chiang was to see  the school girls grow and develop in their music journey. Mrs. Chiang enjoyed bringing out the best of students who had the least talent by nurturing their love of music through singing. To Mrs. Chiang, the sense of fulfillment in seeing an incoming Primary student without a good sense of pitch improve and can sing well eventually, is invaluable.

Another aspect that Mrs. Chiang enjoys tremendously is the rapport that she builds with her choir members. Girls who are chosen to join in the school choirs participate with their fullest effort and put their hearts into it. There are lots of interactions with choir members during practices and rehearsals and these build up personal relationships that last throughout the years. This is seen in the establishing of the DOGA choir, the Diocesan Graduate Singers in the year 2000.  Since then, it has strengthened fellowship among its members consisting of old girls spanning four decades.

One of the memorable events for Mrs. Chiang was leading the DGJS choir to compete in the LLangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in Wales in 2008. Despite being the first time to enter a DGJS choir in an international competition, the choir won 1st place in the Junior Children’s Choir category. Other memorable events included many brilliant performances of various competition songs at the Hong Kong Schools Music Festivals.

Mrs. Chiang finds DGS girls to be very smart and receptive, yet not creative enough as they are at times confined with the fear of being wrong and lack the time for thinking and playing. She hopes that students will dare to be creative even if it may mean making mistakes at times. This will help them advance further in their music journey and in the development of the person as a whole. Mrs. Chiang also aspires to lead our girls to appreciate music itself and not just to think of results in competitions.

At present, Mrs. Chiang is reemployed by the School as the Music Director of both DGJS and DGS after retiring in 2011 from the Junior School. She teaches a few music lessons, leads three choirs and organises the DGJS concerts. She also manages resources of the new campus music facilities and hopes to develop the School in various ways to serve the community through music activities.

During her spare time, Mrs. Chiang continues to devote her time and energy to music. She is committed to her church as its deaconess and is also the conductor for its adult and children’s choirs. On Friday evenings, Mrs. Chiang leads the Diocesan Graduate Singers. She enjoys attending music concerts and watching all kinds of dance performances which she finds helpful towards staging performances.

Upon full retirement, Mrs. Chiang hopes to continue to be involved in choral music. Music will always be part of her life.

Mrs. Chiang and music are inseparable

.

Interview with Mrs Claire Cheung

Helena Chan and Katherine Wong of the Editorial Subcommittee met with Mrs. Clare Cheung of DGJS on June 23 2005 at KCC.

 

After a light lunch and while enjoying their cup of coffee or tea in the cozy restaurant, the interview started with Mrs. Cheung's brief account of her career at DGJS so far.

Mrs. Cheung has taught in DGJS for thirty years since she graduated from Sir Robert Black College of Education in 1973. The subjects she taught included Mathematics and English. Currently, she is teaching one subject i.e. Mathematics, and is a Class Teacher of Primary One. During her long career as a Subject Teacher and Class Teacher, she has attended a wide range of in-service training courses and workshops on primary education. She considers the learning process to have been beneficial to her career especially when faced with the ever increasing high expectations on the quality of teaching and education in Hong Kong during the past thirty years.

One of her memorable incidents whilst teaching mathematics to primary school students during the late 70s and in the 80s, was that they liked to count their fingers when doing addition or subtraction. She noticed that this is not the trend nowadays. The primary school students are now more bilingual and can pick up 'English' mathematics very quickly. There are also teaching materials and other computerized teaching aids to facilitate classroom teaching and to build up the learning atmosphere. While talking about this Helena remembers when the primary one students learn shapes and colour factors in the classroom, there used to be a less sophisticated teaching aid, i.e. those blocks of different shapes and colors inside the big gray box which are just as effective to catch the attention of children!).

Other than teaching school subjects, Mrs. Cheung has been a Brownie pack guider for "so long she cannot recall when she started". She has been fully responsible for the pack's activities, and has nurtured it to grow from one Brownie Pack to two (with a total of 48 Brownies). Compared with the Brownies in the past, the girls' nowadays especially enjoy the learning process and the sense of recognition for their achievements during badge assessment. Mrs. Cheung finds that the 'pow-wow' (the ring that Brownies form at the beginning of meetings) is an innovative and fun way to teach the Brownies, and that as a Brownie guider, she is able to teach them skills which enhance their personal growth and independence (such as how to fold socks and wash clothes - things that they may not have the opportunity to do at home).

Compared with students in the past decades, even though the workload is heavier, she finds that primary school students have become more outgoing and are able to take the initiative to approach teachers more directly. She would advise modern day students to raise questions to teachers in class and to take the initiative to do additional tasks during their spare time (i.e. those tasks that are already uploaded in the DGJS intranet).

Given the abundance of variety of after school activities that are being offered to students, how is it possible then to help the children to focus? "Teaching is all about motivation, and then we need to think about the development of the concept." This is something not only teachers, but parents should consider. Children nowadays are capable of excelling in a diversity of tasks, but as parents, we must remember not to make a career out of our children's grades. When in doubt, discuss with teachers - "I am very happy when parents want to see me, and as teachers, we are always available". That is why she considers it vital for parents to have a direct relationship with the teacher, so that they learn about their child's progress from the most accurate source. She expects that DGJS students will learn to be self-confident and independent so that they are equipped with good learning attitude and skills as they move on to secondary school, and beyond their teenage years.

Her long career in DGJS has allowed her to witness many changes, especially the physical appearance of the junior school. She remembers well the old junior hall that was "a beautiful structure on its own, the silhouette appears very different when compared with the new hall that is embedded within the new building; the many trees behind the old servants' quarters, especially the guava trees; the old staff room, and the old chairs that snagged a few pairs of stockings each day, these are all fond memories of the old school ground" (Helena mused that she remembers vividly Mrs. Cheung having been the first to introduce to us Scholl exercise sandals by having worn them to classes, which in fact, started a trend in girls from that era that lingers on till today.)

Having taught in DGJS for such a long time, Mrs. Cheung notices that not only the girls, but also the teachers having a strong sense of belonging (the one disadvantage being the desire to arrive early and leave late). This is especially true when she has past students coming back for a visit, or simply calling out to her on the streets. She has become close friends with other teachers who have also taught in DGJS for a long period of time, and she treasures the moments shared with them, like all girlfriends do.

.

Interview with Ms. Ma, Mrs. Watt & Mrs. Yeung -
A Glimpse of our Junior School From Then Till Now

It was the usual hectic scene at the back gate of our Junior School as we eagerly awaited the arrival of our guests for the long-anticipated interview - three dedicated teachers who have each taught at DGJS for no less than thirty years. To our surprise, the three of them have not aged a bit as they appeared together and our conversation began instantly.

We walked to and settled down at a nearby restaurant, and we wasted no time in trying to find out as much as possible about DGJS now and during the old school days -

(M: Ms. Ma; W: Mrs. Watt; Y: Mrs. Yeung)

Q: Which year did you start to teach at DGJS?

M: 1967
W: 1967
Y: 1970

Q: How was the Junior School different 30 years ago?

Y: Back in those days, P1 to P4 classes were held in the wooden hut, while P5 and P6 classes were held on the senior school premises.

Q: How about academics for the girls?

Y: I feel that our students are more well-rounded now than before, but the depth of knowledge in each field of subject seems less profound due to the increase of subjects that need to be covered in recent years.

M: The level of Chinese language is much more difficult now than before and the level of proficiency has gone up a lot for our girls now.

Q: How are DGJS girls different now than before?

M: I find them closer to their teachers now.

Y: They are also more 'lively' these days!

Q: What are the challenges of being a teacher these days?

W: Workload is much heavier than before and the challenge is to finish things on hand in a timely manner.

M: We also have to meet new external changes and social demands.

Y: As expectations become higher, we as teachers need to accommodate to these continuous changes as there are more logistics involved now besides the daily task of teaching such as planning, administration and evaluation.

Q: How are DGJS girls different from students from other schools in HK?

Y: They are definitely much more self-confident as you would notice in Speech Festivals.

M: They have always been better than the rest and are generally more out-spoken.

Q: Do you find our girls difficult to teach?

Y: Not exactly, but they do have their own thinking sometimes and may challenge the way things are taught, for example, how a sentence may be structured differently!

M: Their skills and levels of reading seem to be ahead of other schools by quite a bit; you have to be creative with these kids!

Q: Is there any memorable event that happened in your career?

M: There are many interesting things, I remember having to pick up a coin that a student accidentally left inside a toilet bowl! And being invited to weddings by students that I taught many years ago!

Q: What will you miss most about the school when you leave or retire?

W: I will miss the old staff room a lot, the atmosphere in those old days, the people, the chit-chat going around.

M: After I retire, I shall miss the bauhinias that blossom so beautifully in our school garden each year at springtime and of course the laughter of the children at school. I have spent so much more time at school than at home for these past 30 years, I would eventually like to do some traveling and perhaps pursue some studying!

Y: I will definitely miss the annual Speech Festival, the coaching of the students, their achievements, perhaps I may come back to help those teachers on maternity leave!

W: I will miss having fun with all the teachers in those old days, nowadays we hardly have time to joke around with our busy schedule!

Y: I will miss that too!

Our three respectable and loving teachers have dedicated almost their entire careers to DGJS and have spent so much of their time, effort and heart all these years that a huge part will be missing when they retire. Mrs. Yeung even commented on how she would be worried about having nothing to do when she retires eventually!

Unfortunately we did not have enough time to pursue and relive as many of those precious moments and times from Junior School as we wished, but we will always cherish deeply these three wonderful teachers who have devoted their lives to educating us.

Written by:
Audrey Chen Tam

 

 

 

May Kwong brought a piece of her work from Mrs. Watt's art lesson more than 20 years ago. Mrs. Watt was amazed to see her still keeping it and said that she herself did not even have a sample anymore!!

My impressions of the three teachers did not change a bit: Mrs. Watt and Mrs. Yeung are always extremely fashionable, and Miss Ma always patient and soft-spoken. They still looked EXACTLY the same as when I first knew them in 1978! What surprised me more was that Mrs. Yeung could even remember my full name. No words could describe the warmth and familiarity I felt with these teachers. Every smile and gesture were just the same. Even though decades have passed, our teachers are always an inspiration to us and always so knowledgeable. They seem more lively and witty now as we become adults and they chat and joke with us just like friends. I left the interview contented, knowing that they are well and sound. They will always be the gems of DGS.

To Mrs. Watt (for this year) and Miss Ma (for next year)
On your retirement, I wish that you will have the chance to do the things you have always wanted to, and hope that you will find great happiness in the years ahead.

To Mrs. Yeung
I wish you good health and happiness. Enjoy still, the years teaching in DGJS.

May Kwong (Year 1989)

.