Let's Get Physics-cal with Mr. Marcus Wu


By Denise Ng & Avari Ying

Perfectly poised, he swept his gaze across the classroom before returning to his lengthy lecture, preaching words of wisdom to students with a burning desire to accumulate knowledge of a subject he’s passionate about—physics.

Having accumulated many years of teaching experience, Mr Marcus Wu is no rookie to the education field. However, even after all the trials and tribulations he's been through, adapting to a new ambiance is still no easy feat. 

"The preferences of students nowadays are very different to the ones 20 years ago, and teaching styles are getting switched accordingly. I guess you can tell that I'm not all that young anymore, so that makes adapting to the new teaching styles really hard. Plus, I'm an extremely busy person, which makes balancing all my duties incredibly tedious."

Even though switching up teaching styles may not be a walk in the park for him, he’s still trying his absolute hardest to understand his students more in depth in order to find the perfect way to reach them. From his first month of teaching here, he has realized that students nowadays highly enjoy observing and thinking for themselves rather than sitting quietly and listening. Therefore, in order to make physics more interesting to his students, he has deduced that he should not only add more in class demonstrations, but also ask more questions and not be as stiff when he gives lectures. And with that, he genuinely hopes that the students can learn something much more meaningful from the lesson, and hopefully he can light a passion for physics in their hearts. But most importantly, he hopes they learn to appreciate physics and enjoy the lesson.

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, as apart from physics, Mr Wu also used to teach A level maths as part of the pre-HKDSE A-Levels curriculum. However, since he switched schools, teaching maths is nothing but a thing of the past.

For the most part, Mr. Wu has been enjoying his time at our school. “You see, as I said before, I’m not young anymore. I can’t remember anything, much less the names of my students or even the names of my colleagues. Luckily, both my fellow colleagues and dear students have been really helpful in helping me get used to my new environment, and for that, I’m truly grateful.”

He’s also thankful for how encouraging the school is at helping new members adapt to the environment. “My colleagues have been teaching me little gimmicks, for example how to keep the class under control,” he explains, “and throughout this month I’ve been improving myself and preparing more. As a result, I’m significantly more confident to be teaching in a whole new environment and I feel like I’m getting better with every passing day.”

What ended with a genuine passion for teaching actually started with just a tiny kindling of coincidence. After Mr Wu graduated from HKUST (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology) a long time ago, or so he claims, he became a teacher only because he wanted a job. Reluctant as he first was, he quickly discovered he was wrong, as he discovered teaching to be his cup of tea after all. Since he could make use of his extensive knowledge in physics and maths, he found teaching to be rather compelling. Along with the nostalgia of returning to a secondary school, he knows for sure that it is the perfect job for him.

Having taught in a couple of other schools before, Mr. Wu obviously saved the best school for the last by coming here. When asked about the rationale behind choosing this school, he proclaims,” I didn’t choose this school, the school chose me. It’s kind of like a marriage, much commitment and agreement is needed from both sides.” Alongside that, he has had a lot of teaching experience in schools with similar standards to this one, although he does admit that our English level is superior than those of his previous school.

His targets for this academic year is for the students’ grades to reach their full potential. “Grades are nothing more than a reflection on how much you’ve learnt this year, they’re just a process. However, the most important thing after all is that you try your absolute hardest at everything that you attempt. Achievements are just the harvests of hard work; after all, you reap what you sow.”

“Be kind to everyone; your teachers, your peers, and most importantly, yourself. I’ve taught for many years, and one observation that I made is that senior students are more prone to getting stressed due to grades since they’re so incredibly self critical about it. Don’t compare yourself to others, as everyone has different talents. For example, while I am proficient in maths and physics, my language skills are absolutely atrocious.” To drive home his point, he turns to a famous Albert Einstein quote: “If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.”

Mr. Wu believes that everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses, and that it’s important to try your best to find what you are good at and to enjoy it. “Remember, a mark is just a number, and in no way does it ever define your life and what kind of a person you are, neither your life or destiny. You could be horrendous at physics and still be a great cook, an amazing artist, or a talented writer, so just do your best and see how high you can reach.”

And on that note, we wish Mr Wu the best of luck in the ensuing academic year, and to please be lenient with the marks in the physics tests. Hopefully, under Mr. Wu’s instruction, we will all be able to reach our full potential.