Passion + Positive Thinking: Ms. Cheung’s Equation for Happiness
By Calvin Lam, Ethan Kan, Isaac Chu, & Palin Young
This year, the math department at HKUGA College has added a new member to their team—Ms. Sabrina Cheung. As one of the newest math teachers at our school, she has already distinguished herself as a kind and generous teacher who cares about her students.
Ms. Cheung first became interested in teaching because of a teacher she once had. “I am still grateful to him up to this day,” she said. “The man who inspired me was my Form 4 math teacher. He taught me for four years in secondary school and gave me encouragement all the time.”
Ironically, though, Ms. Cheung was not great at math when she was in school. “I failed many tests and exams, and thought I was hopeless,” she explained. However, this teacher reassured her that, even if she wasn’t good at math, she could get good marks if she focused. “He introduced me to some mathematics reference books. After reading these books, I found out that passion matters a lot.”
Outside of school, Ms. Cheung has a wide variety of interests. She enjoys reading, like a typical bookworm. She is eager to learn and grow smarter everyday, and she believes that reading books is an important way to do that. And like a lot of us, she also enjoys sleeping. She said sleeping helps her relax and recharge, giving her the energy needed for the next task she has to complete. She also enjoys cooking, which she said helps her improve her focus and concentration. For example, when she is chopping spring onions, she can stay focused on just that task, forgetting all the other distractions around her.
However, perhaps her biggest “hobby” is taking care of her 2 year-old daughter, Sheryl. These days, Ms. Cheung usually spends more time on her children than on her own personal interests. Some days, her daughter can have a bit of a temper, so Ms. Cheung said that she has found it important to take a deep breath and stay calm, that way she can speak calmly to her and understand what is wrong and how to help.
Ms. Cheung mentioned that it is this love of taking care of children that brought her into teaching. She said that witnessing the growth of her students is like witnessing the growth of her own children. Students receive knowledge and education just like her own children receive nurturing. She pictures the feeling of accomplishment when she one day sees students that she used to teach as Form 1 students grow into tall Form 6 graduates. That image is one of her major motivations as a teacher.
Ms. Cheung’s advice for students is to treasure the one shot they have at things in life, whether it’s being a secondary school student or a first-time mother. Students shouldn’t be afraid of failure, but rather should find ways to handle it positively. In her own life, whenever Ms. Cheung faces failure, she turns to mediation and talking with friends and family as ways to deal with her emotions. She believes that practicing a growth mindset will help people think more positively in many aspects of life.