PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 15 December, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 December, 2010, 12:00am

Don't worship your idols blindly

Teenagers often look up to pop stars as role models. But teachers and parents may by alarmed by such worshipping of pop idols.

I have idols, too. I am drawn to their wonderful voices. Sometimes my idols can fulfil my emotional needs and inspire me.

But I admire my idols in a healthy way. I know they're people just like us.

Youngsters should not follow their role models blindly. We should be mature enough to tell right from wrong and be sensible in admiring our role models.

Yu Man-kuen, Pooi To Middle School

Smaller classes will benefit students

Small-class learning has stirred much debate.

People who are against the policy say there are not enough laboratories for science classes if, say, two smaller biology classes are scheduled at the same time. Building more rooms and recruiting more teachers will increase the burden on schools.

Moreover, it is not just the size of classes that matters. All these years, Hong Kong students have been cramming so they can get good grades. If a similar approach is used in smaller classes, students will still be force-fed knowledge the same way.

Yet small-class learning has many benefits. It can help students grow morally and intellectually.

Instead of the chalk-and-talk sessions in larger classes, teachers will be able to communicate with their students more creatively.

They can engage students in workshops and role-plays to boost their critical thinking skills.

Teachers can also pay more attention to each student's specific needs and help them with their weaknesses.

Small-class teaching has been a success around the world. In Western countries, class sizes are generally below 25 students while in Hong Kong it's around 40.

I believe small-class learning can help students acquire knowledge better. It can also help boost their creativity, critical thinking and collaboration skills. This will give them a competitive edge in future when they start working.

Tang Cheuk-Chi, Holy Family Canossian College

The elderly can rock

Mamy Rock is a 69-year-old granny in Britain who has become famous as a DJ.

Ruth Flowers began DJ-ing after her grandson took her to a disco. Young people love her.

Mamy Rock has shown that elderly people can be trendy, too. She's shown that the generation gap between the young and the elderly is often not as big as we think.

Although not all seniors may be as hip as Mamy Rock, they may have many surprises in store for us if only we paid more attention to them.

Our grandmas and grandpas deserve our love, caring and attention.

Emily Law Yee-wing, Pooi To Middle School

A good teacher can make a difference

I was very shy in primary school. I rarely joined inters-chool competitions or took part in shows and performances. But I'm so lucky to have a truly nice, funny and inspirational teacher.

She has a very original teaching method. She walks around the classroom and throws pieces of chalk at students who talk Cantonese in her English lessons. She always tells us: 'Try, try, never say die!' She encourages us to do our best and never to give up. Trying is half the success, she reminds us.

Thanks to her encouragement, I have even won a scholarship to study in Britain. At first, I didn't think I'd have a chance. Then her words came to mind: 'Try, try, never say die!'

Now I am so glad I did try. Thank you, my dearest teacher.

Carmen Wong Ka-wan

Give them a break

Teachers often have to work so hard they barely have time for a break. They need to take extra training programmes and plan their lessons. They also need to get involved in school activities and extra-curricular projects.

Some teachers even have to spend their weekends working. They often have to take over the duties of parents and social workers.

That's unfair. We cannot expect teachers to do everything. We need to appreciate them and give them a well-deserved break.

Grace Luk, The YWCA Hioe Tjo Yoeng College