Nathan Morris & Sonia Zhang:
We share the THIS standards and strive for a common goal.
在清华附中国际部稻香湖校区，有这样一位精力充沛、履历丰富的班主任。他曾担任青少年篮球教练，随球队走遍加拿大，因而发掘了自己热爱教育并愿意以教师为终生职业的追求；他也曾为特殊学生做志愿教育工作，持有加拿大青少年保育员资格证，感受到了教育的无私价值。自从来到中国，他一直担任小学班主任的工作，在英语教学方面经验十足。他就是G4-Lavender班主任Mr. Nathan Morris，负责整体管理班级，并教授数学、英语写作、英语阅读、社会研究课。
In THIS DL campus, there is an energetic and experienced homeroom teacher. He began his journey in education through his love of sport. From sport, he learned that he had a love of passing on knowledge and working with young people. Coaching has allowed him to travel all over Canada and work with athletes of all ages from primary to university. While he still love s coaching, he has also worked as a Child and Youth Care Worker (CYCW) in the provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador. In this position, he worked with special needs students to help them integrate into the society. He gained much valuable education and experience, and learned how to use therapeutic intervention for students in need. While he loved his job as a CYCW, he also yearned for adventure. This is when he started his formal education career. Since then, he has been in China working as an English language teacher, early years educator, physical education teacher, and a homeroom teacher for elementary age students. Now, He teaches math, English writing, English reading and social studies for the G4-Lavender class.
清华附中国际部稻香湖校区 THIS DL campus
G4-Lavender 班主任 Homeroom teacher
Mr. Nathan Morris
G4-Lavender班也有着这样一位助教，她热爱教育事业，曾在美国，英国以及肯尼亚等地担任孔子学院教师，有着丰富的海外工作经历，对待学生富有爱心和耐心。她就是Ms. Sonia Zhang。
The teaching assistant for G4-Lavender is also enthusiastic about education, and has had various working experiences in different countries including the U.S., the U.K., and Kenya working as teacher in local Confucius Institutes. She is very patient and loving with her students. She is Ms. Sonia Zhang.
清华附中国际部稻香湖校区 THIS DL campus
G4-Lavender Homeroom teacher
Ms. Sonia Zhang
一位来自加拿大的班主任和一位来自中国的助教，在日常工作中，他们有着不同的角色分工，有着不同的文化和语言背景，但在短短几个月中就培养起了良好的合作机制，形成了通畅的家校沟通桥梁。他们在跨文化环境中，用理解和包容形成了1+1大于2的效果。下面让我们走进G4-Lavender班，通过采访来认识班主任Mr. Nathan Morris和助教 Ms. Sonia Zhang。
Having a homeroom teacher from Canada and a teaching assistant from China in one class, they have different roles and different cultural and language backgrounds. However, they have cultivated a strong cooperative relationship in just a few months, forming an effective communication channel between parents and the school. In a cross-cultural environment, their mutual-understanding and tolerance has helped them create an atmosphere of “one plus one is greater than two”. Now let us meet the homeroom teacher Mr. Nathan Morris and the teaching assistant Ms. Sonia Zhang from THIS DL campus G4-Lavender.
Q: How do you collaborate with each other when you have different roles as homeroom teacher & teaching assistant?
“Thankfully, having such a great teaching assistant as Ms. Sonia makes things easy. Both Ms. Sonia and myself understand our roles for the classroom and do a decent job of abiding by school expectations. We both understand proper techniques of supporting each other during class, as well as preparation. We also do a fantastic job of communicating with one another. This is one of the main reasons we have such a positive working relationship. Ms. Sonia and myself collaborate mostly through face-to-face interaction to solve issues. If Ms. Sonia needs something, I will do my best to help her, and vice versa. There is a give-and-take relationship that works well with us. ”
“To build a loving, welcoming and organized learning environment in our classroom is the common goal at THIS. Like Mr. Nathan said, building such an engaging classroom is never an easy thing. We want our students to enjoy their time at school and learn, while developing their strengths and valuing their individuality. At the same time, we want them to learn to be a team player and discipline themselves. This is a hard-to-keep balance which requires a lot of skills and a strong team of teachers, teaching assistants and parents. Fortunately, at G4L, we can proudly say that we are close to what we are striving for. ”
“To the surprise of us all, Nathan managed to transition so well and smoothly with his professionalism, active teaching style, and humorous personality. You can see how much the kids like him in their eyes, and the feedback from parents is also very positive and welcoming.”
Q: How you notice the difference between cultures? How do you deal with it?
“Of course, there are cultural differences between Ms. Sonia, the students, their family, and myself. We accept each other’s differences and learn from them. Of course, there will be problems that arise when diverse cultures interact but again, the most important aspect in overcoming this is communication. Having a strong and clear dialogue between colleagues and students really helps resolve any issues. ”
“I believe that respecting diversity is a very important mindset that everyone needs nowadays. Just like in our school, students and staff come from all around the world and with different cultural backgrounds. There were differences and difficulties of course, but communication, trust and mutual respect are the keys for our successful collaboration. Whenever there is an issue, there is a discussion between us, and we make decisions based on the principle of what we believe is the best for the children. ”
Q: How do you provide parent-school communication?
“Most of the parent-school communication is done through three main platforms. When I deliver the administrative information and informal information, I try my best to keep messages succinct and professional. The second platform is through Seesaw. This platform is used to send homework and assignments home to the students. The third platform is through parent-teacher meetings and report cards. This communication is far less frequent but also especially important. This will be the most formal way we try to handle parent-school communication. Of course, if a parent would like to meet me face-to-face outside of these platforms, they can always contact me and set up an appointment. ”
“Finally, the last aspect that helps to make a positive classroom climate is the students and family members. I am lucky to have such a pleasant group of grade 4 students. Each student is special in their own way and they display personality traits that would make any parent proud. This group is eager to learn new information and they devour content with zeal. With such a caring group it can seem easy to consider our classroom a second home. Furthermore, the parents have been absolutely supportive of the classroom adjustments and expectations. It’s not easy for students and parents to accept a new teacher midway through the school year, but these parents have been more than encouraging to say the least. ”
“Parent-school communication are done in a timely and effective manner in G4L, and we feel so lucky to have such a supportive group of parents. Mr Nathan is very keen on communication with parents on students’ academic progress. Every week he will send a detailed newsletter stating what we have learned during the past week. And homework is sent out to students every day in hardcopy or on seesaw. I usually send announcements, pictures and videos about different classes or student’s daily life. Parents are very involved in the communication and the parent committee is also very helpful. Our class’ representative is always very responsive and resourceful, she would also share useful informations with me from time to time. ”
We provide education that combines the best part of Eastern and Western education, creating global citizens that are bicultural and bilingual. With our teachers and teaching assistants’ strong leadership and wonderful personalities, their collaboration has been very smooth because they share the THIS value and strive towards a common goal.
文字 Writing | Nathan Morris, Sonia Zhang, Erxin Kang
排版 Editing | Mercy Xu
图片 Pictures | Erxin Kang, Sonia Zhang
审核 Auditing | Shiny Wang, Donald Holder, Wenping Li