Dissecting the Mind of Ms. Christy Tsai
By Georgia Chen
What do rabbits say before they eat? Lettuce pray. What do you call a very smart bunny? An egghead. Ok we’ll stop. These puns just aren’t bunny anymore. Hehehe.
Speaking of bunnies, we have a new biology teacher who is just as soft spoken and quiet as a bunny—Ms. Christy Tsai. And while she doesn’t have a bunny herself, she does have a pet Schnauzer. “I got him from a friend in 2012, so he’s practically an old man at this point,” she playfully remarks. “But his heart is still just the same as it was seven years ago.”
“Animals, especially dogs, are just magical creatures. There have been times when I’ve been drained from work and school, just sitting alone correcting piles and piles of papers that didn’t seem to end. But as long as he jumps on my lap when I come back home or looks at me with excitement, all my troubles melt away, which is why I find animals so fascinating.”
Ironically, even though she loves her pet, Ms. Tsai is also fond of dissection and anatomy, which helps her spread the wonders of biology to young students. “Bear in mind I’m not a psychopath, but I love studying the structures of bodies, whether pig heart or rat specimens. It’s like looking at a miniature me. I practically have the exact same framework as a rat, so I just have a connection with biology. It helps me understand myself from a whole new perspective.”
Other than biology, she also studied physics back in her university days, but she now has second thoughts about that. “Unlike biology, to me physics and chemistry are just too stiff, and it doesn’t provide students with enough flexibility. If you don’t know it, you don’t know it, and there’s not much you can do. It’s not good to push students into a direction they don’t want to follow,” she explains, “But with biology, it’s much easier to teach and understand, as there’s a large variety of topics to choose from, all containing such different facts and concepts.”
She first explored the world of teaching during university, as there were mandatory internships she took part in to get the gist of teaching. “I worked as an intern teacher in two secondary schools prior to HKUGAC. I can safely say that both helped me gather a lot of valuable experience, so I felt I was ready to step in and start my career as a teacher.”
Being a newbie in school, even as a teacher, surely has its own trials and tribulations, as she recounts her first month in school.
“I’m not very familiar with HKUGAC students, especially when they’re so diverse and spontaneous. This makes acknowledging their individual abilities and characteristics in their learning needs overwhelming.”
However, her love for teaching doesn’t falter. She finds out more about her students through interviews and quizzes. After a month, she’s feeling a lot more confident in the coming year by switching up her teaching styles. By incorporating materials that could benefit her students’ learning requirements, such as her personal knowledge, different teaching techniques, and exams cheat sheets, not only has her confidence blossomed, her students’ incentive to learn has also skyrocketed. With that in mind, her teaching aspirations are to successfully cater to all her beloved students as well as create a balance between the diverse needs of different students.
All in all, the school wishes Ms Tsai the best of luck in teaching this coming year. Hopefully she can enjoy this year just as much as everyone does, and she’ll be able to make special memories in our college that she can look back on and smile upon.