PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 29 September, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 29 September, 2009, 12:00am

The secrets of a successful teacher

Recently, one of my classmates said a successful teacher can make their students pay attention without shouting in class. I agree. I am lucky to be taught by this kind of teacher.

There are three key ways I think teachers can be successful.

First is the amount of homework they give their students. Many parents and teachers wrongly believe that the more homework students have, the better it will be for them and they will do well in exams. But this is only partially right. Homework helps us to remember what we learned during the lesson. If we have a couple of assignments per subject, this is an effective way to recap what was taught.

But a mountain of homework is useless. It requires us to repeat exercises, even if we have basic problems with the topic. It's just doing homework for the sake of it.

Secondly, teachers must learn to ignore their personal feelings for particular students. Some students say their teachers give higher marks to their favourite students.

It's natural to be biased, but teachers should learn to ignore that feeling when it comes to marking.

Last but not least, I believe every teacher has their own way of teaching, but they also need different methods for teaching different students.

Teachers should put themselves in their students' shoes and work out how to make each individual succeed.

Angel Cheung Cheuk-man, Pooi To Middle School

Time for a change in attitude

As the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the People's Republic of China approaches, the central government is trying to prove to the world how much the country has changed.

But the recent attacks on Hong Kong journalists covering the conflict between the Han Chinese and Uygurs have exposed a darker side to the mainland.

Like Western journalists, Hong Kong reporters are used to the mainland government being secretive.

But the recent physical attacks and accusations of illegal behaviour were surprising and unacceptable.

Many people felt that China improved a lot around the time of the Beijing Olympics. But they should wake up and realise the mainland is still hiding many things.

Although it is a world power, there are still human rights abuses and many shortcomings in the judicial system.

It is especially important that mainland authorities treat foreign journalists with respect. Freedom of the press is very important in developed nations. China risks alienating other powers if they continue to behave this way. It should act more responsibly.

It is ironic that the Communist Party wants to show the world China's magnificent achievements, but its treatment of journalists has harmed the country's image.

Katie Leung

Understanding National Day

I am performing in a show on Thursday as part of the National Day celebrations in Tuen Mun.

Although it will be quite a small party compared to events on the mainland, it's a great opportunity to be involved with such a big celebration, and I'm excited about the performance.

In the years before the handover, I didn't really know much about National Day. I was young, and we didn't learn about it at school. But since 1997, I've learned a lot more about China and its history, especially in secondary school.

We have at least one lesson a month about life, the economy and society on the mainland. We also have Chinese history lessons, so I've learned about the nation's development.

China is becoming stronger and more important globally. Two months ago, I visited Shanghai and Nanjing , and I can really see how fast those cities are developing.

I am really happy to be involved in celebrating National Day. I feel proud to be Chinese.

Chan Lok-sze, STFA Tam Pak Yu College