Chapter 14 Visiting Homes


I try to visit the homes of the students I teach. It is not easy. The parents might welcome such a visit, but the students prefer to keep the teachers away from the parents!


Mothers are usually at home, in more than half of the homes of the students. However, I insist that the father and mother be present, so it is difficult to arrange. Then, there are my commitments and restricted time, which make the opportunities for a home visit very limited.


The benefits of such a visit are that I am more aware of the context of the student. I want to experience how they come to school and to see where and how they study. To be in the home of a student, even if for a few minutes, gives a feel of the student’s relationship to his parents. This is often a key to understand their behaviour.


The difficulties of such a visit are that I do not know the students well. The parents want details of how their students study, and their defects and strengths. Further they want advice on what subjects they should study, or even for opinions on where they should study abroad. On all the points, I have nothing to say. I visit precisely to get to know the students, whose names I often do not know!


Given the differences in economic background of the students, I do not want to be invited to a dinner in a restaurant or even a meal at home. I say that I will not eat or drink anything. Some parents would prefer to entertain me a restaurant, but I refuse as I count the time involved and the expenses incurred. More important still is the issue of time spent. Some parents are proud of their good accommodation into which they have recently moved, but those of lower income are sometimes embarrassed by a foreigner visiting. Most families are very small. The present realities of the father working over the border makes it difficult to meet him.


My ideal is to visit homes with a group of three students, who invite me to visit their parents. They take me to their home, one after the other. Here it is clear that parents are very sensitive about who comes into their home. Most of students have never had another student in their home, because of the limited space! On the hand, it does the students good to see how their classmates live.



Finally, I have to balance the time and energy I have to be able to visit homes, which can be in Sham Shui Po, Shatin or even in Fanling. I calculate that it takes me about two hours to visit a family, even though I stay for ten minutes, as travel time there and back is long.


One final point: the past students remember clearly my home visit ; the parents are grateful for the visit. I only retain a vague impression of the students, but I am put into closer contact with contemporary society!


There is one more aspect of visiting the homes. I am really interested in the students and I make a survey of all the students in Form Three every year. I ask fifty questions, which mostly require a Yes or No answer. I am interested to see how the students in the two classes I teach are similar to the other three classes, which I do not teach. Then I want to see the changes in the students as the years pass.


In January, after the Christmas Examinations I go to five Form Three classes. I distribute a sheet with the questions. These questions are like the following: You are born in Hong Kong? How much time do you spend on study? How do much do you spend every week? How big is your home? How long does it take you to get to school? What means of transport do you use to come to school? How many hours a week do you spend with your father? Have you travelled to China? Do you want to study abroad? What line of work would you like in the future? How much time do you spend on electronic games? And so on.


With the help of the students I have calculated the percentage of Yes and No for these questions. Every year for the last twenty, The Shield has published my rough conclusions. They are only indicative. But my visits to family help corroborate my thinking with the figures I calculate. Do the students in Wah Yan change over the year- I now say they do change but they are changeless.


I concentrate on giving most of my time to the students I teach, and leave the Past Students and the Parents to other competent teachers. If I can visit the homes of the students, I feel I have what I need to better understand the students. In light of this understanding I hope to teach better! ( 839)


第十四章 家訪


我嘗試到我教的學生家庭訪問,這事並不容易。 家長或許會歡迎這樣的訪問,但是,學生希望老師遠離家長!


在學生家庭中,有大半數通常是母親在家,但是我堅持他們父母同時出現,這是很離安排的,有時是因我的許諾和時間限制,可以作家庭訪問的機會是有限的。


這樣的訪問,好處是我可以更多認識學生的背景,我想經歷一下他們怎樣回到學校,看看他們在那處和怎樣學習,在他們家婸P他們相聚衹是數分鐘,讓我感受到他們父母與兒子的關係,這能幫助解釋學生的行為。


我理想的家庭訪問是一組三個學生,他們請我去拜訪他們的父母,他們逐個帶我到他們的家,現在,很明顯家長對來他們家庭的人很敏感。 他們大部份,未曾有過其他學生到他們的家,另一方面,家訪對學生也有好處,他們可以看到他們的同學如何生活。


最後我還要有時間和精力才能夠去家庭訪問,有些可能住在深水土步甚至粉嶺或屯門,我計算過我大約要花兩小時去訪問一個家庭,雖然,我祗逗留十分鐘,但一去一返的時間很長。


最後一點,我的舊學生仍記得很清楚我去家訪,家長很感激我去家訪,而我衹留給學生一個模糊的印象,但這樣,我便能更緊貼著現代社會!


家庭訪問還有一方面的,每年我替中三二百位學生做一個調查,我問五十條問題大部份衹需要答「是」或「否」,我有興趣知道學生多年來的改變。


得到學生的協助,我計算出問題中答「是」和「否」的百分比,刊登在每年學校的校刊: The Shield,你可以看到我過去二十年所得出的大概結論,衹作為指示,而我的家庭訪問調查的數字幫助証實一下我的想法。 華仁學生多年來有改變嗎? 現在我可說他們有改變,或他們是不變的。


我將我大部份時間放在我現在教的學生身上,留待其他人去幫舊生會和家長,如果我能家庭訪問學生,我覺得我已得到我所需要,對學生更多的了解,根據這樣的理解,我希望可以教得更好。