17 December 2020

Dear Parents and Students,

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27)

How can we train students to face the challenges of the 21st century? "Self-regulated learning" is one way to do this and also one of the most important lifelong skills. The "Self-regulated learning" proposed by Zimmerman, Bonner and Kovach (2000) includes:(1) Personal evaluation of learning ability level;(2) Setting goals, planning and improving learning strategies;(3) Implementing the selected strategy;(4) Monitoring the results of the new strategy.

Under the current COVID-19 conditions, students have to work harder to learn spontaneously, plan daily life arrangements, deliberately and strategically take in different information and absorb new knowledge, and make good use of the time God gives them every day to supervise the effectiveness of their own plan. Experiencing all of this can help them to become stronger and provide them with the mental and emotional skills needed to face new challenges in the future.

In the most basic concept of "self-regulated learning", students should be responsible for their own learning in the online classes, by taking the class seriously to complete the required learning goals. One of the more challenging aspects of online learning when compared to physical classrooms is students’ self-discipline. The teacher’s role is limited. When conducting online lessons, they must control ZOOM and other technology-based tools. They are unable to see and monitor each student’s learning situation. Without the supervision of others, students still need to concentrate in class, mark down the key points, jot notes, ask and answer questions, engage in discussions, and not be distracted, just like when learning in an authentic classroom. Students also need to concentrate after online classes and complete homework as soon as possible. Eventually, they can establish a responsibility for independent learning, and even have a passion for the pursuit of learning, making good use of their leisure time, and continuing to look for reference materials to consolidate, extend, and enrich the knowledge learned in lesson.

The higher level of self-directed learning is to be able to gradually establish one's own long-term and short-term learning goals. Through online resources, teachers and online experts establish learning stages and content, make good use of leisure time, create timetables, and develop the lifelong habit of suitable self-study with constant feedback and reflection to achieve their goals. It is our expectation that each Pooi To girl can become a self-regulated learner.

Over this class suspension period, we have been participating in online classes with a positive attitude. Students now have more free time and opportunities to make good use of it. The time is there and it is up to them as to what they do with it. Parents’ encouragement and supervision at home can effectively help their daughters become self-regulated learners. There will be moments of anxiety under COVID-19, but the Bible says: "I leave peace to you; I give you my peace. What I give is not like what the world gives. Do not be sorrowful or timid in your hearts," (John 14:27). As long as you rely on God, He will give us unexpected peace and protect us. So, bravely say: If there is no risk, how can we have opportunity? Students should use this new normal to seek opportunities, motivate themselves as independent learners, make good use of their free time, and expand their horizons. By doing this they will be making a life-long investment with ongoing benefits.

As I am sure we are all aware, Christmas is coming. In addition to remembering the meaning of the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ, we must also remember to persist in fighting COVID-19. Stay at home, and help to protect everyone in Hong Kong. Moreover, exams will be taken right after the holiday to assess students' learning progress in the first term. Students should do their best to prepare, revise the whole syllabus, and strive to be responsible self-regulated learners.

Best regards,
Constance Cheung

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
(John 14:27)