Visit to Taipei Long Men Junior High School (2018)
The first good practice I observed in Taipei Long Men Junior High School is that the Taiwanese students take the initiative to clean up their school compound. When I was in one of the classrooms, I saw several students taking the brooms and sweeping the floors. There was no teacher around to prompt them to take action. No announcement was made to instruct the students as well. Nonetheless, the students proceeded with their classroom clean-up. Despite not having a classroom schedule for cleaning, they took action. The students did not grumble or complain and seemed rather happy in the midst of tidying up their classroom. This is quite the contrary in our school. Even though our teachers oftentimes tell us the importance of maintaining our classrooms and try to inculcate in us the responsibility to care for our learning space and environment, we would ignore them and leave the cleaning duties to that handful of people who care. I feel that as students, we have a lot to learn from our contemporaries in Long Men Junior High School, especially to be more civic-minded and responsible.
I also observed that the Taiwanese students were very friendly. Almost immediately, they made us feel comfortable and at ease even when we were all in foreign and unfamiliar grounds. The students were very hospitable and helpful. They would not hesitate to provide us information regarding their school or any other thing that we enquired. They even offered to translate for me when I could not understand certain Chinese idioms. I think we can learn so much from them, for example to be open and even more welcoming especially when we have foreign students visiting Zhonghua. I think we could also take a more positive approach in life as well.
Chai Chang Zhi (2E2, 2018)
Having spent a day in Long Men Junior High, I had the opportunity to learn and experience something new. I was initially expecting their school life and environment to be somewhat similar to ZHSS. However, it was not. To begin with, the students in LJH have time to rest or do something they like before they start their next class. Many of them made it a point to come back to their class earlier to get ready for the next lesson which I thought was a good practice as it shows their respect for the teacher and the urge to learn.
As I was given the privilege to attend the art lesson, I was able to observe what the art curriculum was like. Instead of using the tradition pencil and paper for drawing, the students used two pieces of a certain material which had to be dampened before ink could be applied on. I learnt that this is their art culture and I am thankful the Taiwanese students gave me a chance to try something unusual. At the end of the art lesson, the students cleaned up after themselves. Even though there was no visible stain on the floor, several students took the effort to mop the floor while others washed the paintbrushes thoroughly for the next class to use. This was another good practice which was really commendable as this has taught students the importance of teamwork and responsibility. I also observed some students going out of their classes to clean the school compound. Some students, from the class I was assigned to, actually went all the way from level 5 to level 1, to clean up the stairs before heading back to the classroom. The students made sure that there was absolutely no litter on the ground and most certainly put in a lot of effort to clean up the school compound. Needless to say, I was immensely impressed. I feel that students in my school should be more responsible when it comes to keeping the school environment clean and this has inspired me to play an active role to ensure the cleanliness of my classroom.
I thought that every school would have a canteen. However, in Long Men Junior High, lunch was delivered to their class. Everyone queued with their own lunch boxes and utensils and I found this praiseworthy as it is environmentally friendly, since the students were not using disposable plates and utensils. While queuing up for food, the students did not cut their peers’ queue and did not push one another. They waited patiently for their turn. I feel that while most Zhonghua students are well-behaved in school, we could do better by being more environmentally friendly, even in the school canteen.
I am grateful to experience how it would be like to be a Taiwanese student through the TIE Trip. It was a meaningful and fun trip at Long Men Junior High and I hope to be able to share my meaningful experience with my fellow peers and influence them to be more responsible in maintain the cleanliness of our classrooms.
Quek Xin Hui (2E3, 2018)