Ms. Nonette Tsang, Senior English Teacher — Teaching at Pathways: Challenging yet Rewarding
Ms. Nonette Tsang has been teaching at Pathways for 12 years. She enjoys teaching as it is an exceptional opportunity to make a difference in a child’s life, and moreover she considers it as learning process for herself, too.
“Every child is unique. One has to think of the best way to teach every child,” said Ms. Nonette.
She holds this view that students with dyslexia should be regarded as “different learner”, or “differently-abled”. Given good opportunities and a suitable environment, they can be motivated to learn.
Some kids can have a bad day in school, so Ms. Nonette will observe their mood first. If they are not ready, she would talk to them about their day or have games to make them relax, in order to get them engaged in the lesson.
“In the teaching-learning process, everyone around the child counts to make that child feel confident and motivated,” Ms. Nonette emphasized the importance of creating good learning atmosphere.
Fifteen-year-old Alex Hoeflich is one of her former students. When Alex first came to Pathways in 2011, he only knew five letter sounds. Also, his writing showed inversions in some numbers and letters. With efforts given by Ms. Nonette and in partnership with Alex’s mother, the young boy is now a confident learner. In 2018, he won the Hong Kong Young Writers Award in fiction, and his poem was published in the book “New Journeys to the West.” Alex is now studying in a boarding school in the United Kingdom.
“Parental support is crucial to the success of a child,” said Ms. Nonette, “Parents should totally accept their child’s condition and be that child’s number one fan.”
She also admired the mother of another student Lucas, who came to Pathways when he was seven years old. Lucas’ mother always finds the best support for him so that he can unleash his potential, helping him to become a confident boy. “She believes in her son’s talents and capacities, even if he struggles in the area of language. She always makes sure Lucas gets the best resources and support available, even though it means he has to change schools a number of times,” she added.
Teachers at Pathways have always regarded the building of trust with students and parents as top priority. Ms. Nonette appreciates the parents who are involved in their children’s learning. She also enjoys working with people who share the same passion and love for children, and values the regular training opportunities that allow her to interact with experts in special education.
“Teaching at Pathways is both challenging and rewarding. I believe there is still so much more to know about children with dyslexia.” Ms. Nonette concluded.
Alex (first from left) was excited to receive the Hong Kong Young Writers Award on stage.