Now the academic year for Chatteris Tutors has drawn to a close, Chatteris’ own Emily Brazier walks us through the last 9 months in pictures.
This academic year begun with orientation, COVID-19 style. Having made the bold decision to move abroad during a global pandemic, thirty newly-arrived tutors undertook two weeks of online workshops, student-facing lessons and team building activities from their quarantine hotel rooms.
After their release from quarantine, the new tutors set out exploring Hong Kong before joining the rest of the team for further face-to-face training. A lack of in-person students meant it was fellow Chatteris staff who sat behind the desks in a day of mock lessons.
The school year started with a timetable of virtual lessons, which the team took on with ease. New groupings of tutors in schools gave second-year Chatteris Tutors opportunities to share their top online teaching tips with their newly arrived peers.
At the end of September, Mid-Autumn Festival gave the team a well earned break as well as an opportunity to celebrate and learn about Hong Kong customs.
Seizing any excuse for a celebration, a number of tutors also recognised some less mainstream holidays…
As the pandemic in Hong Kong progressed through its second, third, and fourth waves, our tutors found innovative ways to ensure their teaching remained up to scratch while adhering to pandemic restrictions.
As restrictions on sports were eased, Chatteris FC returned to the pitch with a new squad of tutors and alumni. Their two-match season may have seen a total of five goals scored, but the memories made were innumerable.
Throughout the year, many of our tutors chose to volunteer their time through our Community Outreach Programme with partner organisations such as Loving Kids Community Centre and TCK Learning Centre for Migrant Workers. Altogether we worked with 600 beneficiaries over 200 hours of volunteering.
Fast forward to Christmas time and our tutors had themed lessons and activities coming out their ears. Many well-behaved classes with complete incentive schemes were rewarded with a visit from Santa Claus.
In the New Year, more students were back in the classroom although travel restrictions maintained the opportunity gap between Cross Boundary Students and their Hong Kong based counterparts. Through a careful balancing act, Chatteris Tutors ensured their classrooms were inclusive and interactive for students attending both online and in person.
This year saw us expand our English learning support to kindergarten students. Our tutors ran weekend classes to provide additional opportunities for young learners to practice their phonics skills.
In addition to lessons, our tutors strive to build students’ self-confidence through informal interactions outside of the classroom. While the year began with only online extra curricular activities, by May face-to-face English events provided valuable opportunities for fun, authentic language use.
May zoomed around in a flash, marking the end of most Chatteris Tutors’ school placements. With heavy hearts our tutors bid farewell to the students who they’d learnt and grown alongside over the past academic year.
Despite all the challenges thrown at the world over the past year, our team of tutors have proved their resilience and dedication to serving our student and community beneficiaries. We are incredibly proud of our Chatteris community and look forward to welcoming a new cohort of tutors in August!
Interested in teaching English in Hong Kong? Apply now to become a Chatteris Tutor.