PUBLISHED : Saturday, 29 December, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 29 December, 2007, 12:00am

Some friends are worth treasuring

Besides family, friends are one of the most important things in life. Everyone wants to have at least one best friend. But how do we know when a person is a true friend?

A friend will know what you are thinking about. They will know when you are happy and when you are sad, and you won't have to tell them. When you are sad they will comfort you and when you are happy they will be happy for you.

When you go out in a group or on a school trip, they will always choose to be by your side. And if you're ever apart, the friendship won't change because you will stay in touch.

Maybe I haven't met this friend yet or maybe I have, but haven't realised it yet. I think everyone must have a person like this in their life. So treasure the people around you and don't allow yourself to feel lonely.

Amanda Karen Chan, Marymount Secondary School

Studying will pay off

According to an international study comparing teenagers across the globe, Hong Kong teens are among the best in the world when it comes to science, maths and reading. It is ironic then that most teenagers in Hong Kong seem unhappy and dissatisfied with their life.

As students in Hong Kong, we have lots of opportunities to do things, but we are burdened by our schoolwork. All we do is revise for exams. This makes us tired and unhappy.

And if we don't revise and do well, our teachers and parents scold us.

As I have to study everyday, I try not to focus on the pressure and problems I know I am going to face. I look at the work I have to do as training for the future. Being positive is key.

Jason Wu Man-kit, Christian Alliance S. C. Chan Memorial College

Music to my ears

I have just been involved in organising a music week for my school. I was one of the committee members.

It was hard but we all worked together to get it done.

I've often wondered why so many students like sitting on committees, and now I know. It's hard work but it's also very satisfying when the job gets done.

Chan Hoi-wan, Tsuen Wan Public Ho Chuen Yiu Memorial College

There's more to life than winning

I recently went to the School Speech Festival with two Form Six classmates. We had planned to take part in the English public speaking competition, but we got to the venue late and missed it.

I was disappointed because we had spent so much time preparing.

Luckily, the judges allowed us to give our speech, and they gave us some feedback, but no marks.

Even though we didn't get to compete, we learned a lot from the experience.

Not only did we learn how to organise and present a speech, we now appreciate each other more and are not as worried about winning or losing as we used to be.

I think we all now believe that it's not the winning or losing that counts, it's how you play the game that matters.

Shamar, Tin Shui Wai Government Secondary School

English lessons need to be fun

After reading a story about Hong Kong's language policy, I think more needs to be done to make learning English fun.

I think the major problem is not the language policy but the fact that students are not interested in learning English.

Compared to English, Chinese is easier for most students to understand. Most of them find English hard to learn, which puts many of them off.

I think the best way to tackle the problem is to make English lessons more fun. Teachers should use films and songs to inspire students.

They could also hold more events in English to get students interested. My school recently organised five days of events based on Australia. I learned a lot about Australia and my vocabulary improved too.

I also think schools should provide counselling and lessons to help us improve our self-esteem. This would help many of us do better at school because we would be more positive and confident when dealing with challenges.

Being truly bilingual is not an easy job and students need time to develop an interest, and make use of what they have learned in their daily life.

Janice Ho Pui-ying, Our Lady of the Rosary College

What makes a good teacher?

I don't think anyone will disagree when I say that good teachers are the most important people in a student's life. But what makes a good teacher?

First of all, I think teachers must have the right attitude. This means they have to be responsible and enthusiastic about their job. For example, teachers should be willing to help students with their studies. I have had two teachers who have helped me understand difficult subject matter. They always encouraged us to ask for help if we didn't understand something.

A good teacher cares about their students. For example, they should look at how their students study, because if it is not effective, it will damage their students' morale.

Good communication skills are another important trait. Teachers have to know their subject inside out and know how to teach it.

Finally, I think teachers need to have a good personality and sense of humour. A good teacher should try to set an example for students.

All in all, a wonderful teacher is someone who is enthusiastic, has good communication skills, an excellent sense of humour and a good personality.

If you are lucky enough to have a teacher like this, I am sure you will learn a lot from them.

Debby Sin, Kit Sam Lam Bing Yim Secondary School