Academic lead finds her edge
Karin Chun Taite, head of academics (Hong Kong) at The Edge Learning Center, has a background in theatrical stage management and double-majored in English literature and drama in her undergraduate studies. “I wanted to balance the excitement and creativity of live performance with the intellectual rigour of more academic pursuits. Teaching fortuitously combines elements of both of my passions, which is why I decided to join The Edge,” she says.
As the head of academics, Chun Taite has two roles: teacher and manager. “A large part of my time and effort goes into making sure my kids receive the academic support, mentorship and challenge they need. I also work with my fellow teachers to ensure the best possible quality of our lessons,” she says.
Chun Taite has to co-ordinate with other departments to help facilitate the smooth delivery of services. She is also responsible for training new members of the teaching team. “Most recently, we’ve been using our mornings to implement an intensive training programme for our newest teachers,” she says. “We invited outside experts in learning styles and classroom-delivery skills to conduct a four-day workshop, so our teachers can take time to hone their professional skills and reinforce collegial bonds before the summer peak season.”
When she is not teaching or training, she is preparing texts for classes or working with other teachers on the content and logistics of lessons. Handling so many duties is a challenge. “I have to try juggling my teaching and administrative duties in such a way as to bring energy, accuracy, goodwill and rigour to both sides,” she says.
She is also helping the company plan its expansion outside Hong Kong. “The Edge is opening branches in Beijing and Shanghai, and being part of the team that deals with the staffing and training logistics has proved to be quite challenging,” she says. “This academic head position is a new one for me, so for the moment I’m focusing on learning the terrain and accomplishing the goals of the position with integrity and intelligence.”
Leading a busy life does not stop Chun Taite enjoying her kickboxing hobby. “Doing kickboxing can be a balancing act at times,” she says. “I think an educator also needs to bring joy, precision, stamina and intellect.”