Towards the end of the last academic year, I was a little reticent when I heard that school parent evenings would be evolving into broader ‘Gubei Community Events’. I had quite enjoyed having a showcase room for my beloved Business and Economics Department, and the 5-minute appointments with parents had allowed me to conduct many meetings in just one evening. However, having now experienced the first two iterations of the new Gubei Community Events, I realise that I need not have worried; quite the contrary in fact.
上学期末，当我听说 上海协和双语高级中学 学校例行家长会的形式将略作调整，变成主题更为宽泛的“协和古北社区活动”时内心还有些疑虑。毕竟我已习惯原有的流程：和整个商业与经济部门一起布置展示教学成果的陈列室;在一个晚上高效完成所有的家长预约面谈。而本学期，在我参与了两次协和古北社区活动后，我意识到这一崭新活动形式的独特魅力，原有的担心实属多余。
I am still able to celebrate the brilliant learning and teaching that goes on in the Business and Economics Department through the wall displays in both the corridors and classrooms in our subject zone. Furthermore, I find the ten-minute appointment slots, double the previous length, have enabled far more in-depth, personalized and meaningful discussions with parents about their children’s progress. It has been great to have the time to listen carefully and respond to individual questions and concerns, able to give more context and detail to the learning trajectories and teaching strategies involved. Although I see fewer sets of parents at any one community event, parents now can come to any of the events, so I will still get to see every parent who wishes to see me each semester.
Beyond this, there is another win from the new format too. Each department has now been given the chance of hosting an event related to their subject at one of the community evenings, and I had the fortune of being given a slot for a business and economics event at October’s GCE. Integrating the final of our Grade 9 Grizzlies Lair entrepreneurship competition was not quite logistically possible this time around, so we took the opportunity to run a Business and Economics related quiz. This proved a wonderful opportunity to invite all members of the school community to come and expand their general knowledge of the business world in a fun and accessible format. Mirroring the incredible enthusiasm that has been shown for the external NEC economics competition that the school is participating in (55 students have now signed up to take part), I was delighted to see Grade 9 students leading the way in taking part in the quiz, though students from all age groups were in attendance.
Opening with the first of three logo-recognition rounds, Mr Fedan reveled in being photographed wearing the golden Rolex crown. As other Reaction Lab inspired pics began making their way onto social media, an excited buzz around the quiz started to build, and before long the number of participants grew. The early Grade 9 leaders faced stiff competition when Mr Walsh and Mr Dumble themselves entered the fray and could not resist attempting some of the questions. Both showed a redoubtable knowledge of great inventors and a flare for car logos. However, when the school’s marketing guru and Visual Arts teacher, Mr Wun, started to turn the advertising slogans round into a musical jingles round, a capella style, they could take no more and stepped aside. This left the door open for Ian Ghys, Ethan Chen and Yuki Kin’s team to swoop in and claim first prize, closely followed by George Sun, Henry Deng and Joey Cao.
竞赛第一回合是商标识别，大屏幕上展现了Fedan老师戴着劳力士一脸陶醉的照片。随着其他充满创意与趣味的题目图片陆续登场(照片由我校的Reaction Lad社团学生提供)现场气氛愈加热烈，中途加入的参赛选手也越来越多。我校两位校长Walsh先生与Dumble先生也加入战局，他们对各大发明家谙熟于心，对各类汽车品牌更是如数家珍。领先的学生选手们不得不全力应战才不至于太落后。而当题型由广告词转变成我们视觉艺术课程教师Wun先生制作的广告音乐铃声时，学生选手们又重新占据优势。最终由Ian Ghys ，陈奕嘉、金佑辉带领的三支队伍取得了第一，其余优胜者为孙天助、邓涵瑞与曹君羿。
Beyond the frivolity and good times, there was a serious takeaway from the evening. Some research studies have found that one of the best predictors of students' future success is not their mathematical ability, not their language skills, and not even their potential in economics. One of the most accurate predictors has in fact been found to be students' general knowledge. So read widely and be aware of what is going on in the world around you. It might just be the key to your success. And it might just have something to do with why I myself, along with my alter ego 'Griffix the Cruciverbalist', have such a love for crosswords. Happy quizzing!