Community Spotlight: Rita Li, Educator

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Curious about what volunteerism and Time Auction events are all about? Meet our community who has shared their memorable experiences in their volunteering journey and meetings with our featured guests!

A dedicated educator and long-time participant of Time Auction, Rita talked to us about her inspirations, aspirations, and gains from her hard work with a focus on children and teenagers.


Meet Rita Li!

Rita began her career in the commercial sector, while at the same time, she started volunteering with a focus on children's education. Her work with children sparked an active interest in the field, which led her to take on a part-time Master's degree in Education. Eventually, she left the commercial field and took on a job at an NGO with a focus on teenagers 4 years ago.

How it all began — Rita’s volunteer journey

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(Left) Lunch with Cheung Leong, Executive Director, Charities and Community of The Hong Kong Jockey Club in Jun 2019 (Right) Lunch with Dan, MD of Tencent Investments & Leonie, MD of Sales & Operations at Google HK at our fifth-anniversary event “Time of Our Lives” in Apr 2019

Rita started volunteering as a tutor with Principal Chan Tutorial World, focusing on children in Primary 3. These children were very exam-focused, and during that year, she was forced to abide by that requirement. During that time, she ascertains that the children generally lack the motivation to learn, and what they are picking up from textbooks are profoundly different from their daily lives.

An example is when Rita teaches English, the children are generally uninterested and feel forced to learn. However, taking them to the supermarket and teach them how to read food labels, and then they start to see how learning English can help their daily lives. “Talk to them about their favorite sports team if that is what interests them”.

From her experience volunteering at the tutorial school, Rita reflected that the conventional education structure did not suit her. When she was teaching at the tutorial school, the coercion of exams and fixed syllabus caused frustration for her and her students. When one of her students failed his exams that year, despite her continuous effort to help him, she realized that there are more important aspects of education outside of the standard system that she can devote her time towards.

A new perspective — learning from Time Auction experiences

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Rita proclaims to be a hard-working student with a focus on academics when she was young. She was also the eldest amongst her relatives in her generation, and so she used to help them with their homework. Now, with her newfound perspective, she slowly understands the difference between a student with good grades and one with an aspiration to excel.

She cites that her voluntary work over the years has led her to make fundamental career choices which she is enjoying very much. With Time Auction, she is particularly enjoying the multi-faceted sharing of many featured guests, their failures, reflections, wisdom, many of which help Rita shape her work and thinking to come. She is also keeping a keen eye on how digitization is shaping education’s future.

“Unlearn in order to learn.”

is one of the mottos she lives by. A constant reminder for herself to think outside of the box and not accept things based on perception or assumption.

Besides children's education, Rita also devotes her time between her university alumni association activities, as well as programs dedicated to women empowerment.

Thank you Rita for volunteering 119 hours to charities and joining 5 Time Auction experiences!

To see our upcoming experiences, head over to the Time Auction website.

Interviewed & written by Cindy Chan | Edited by Giselle Lee

This article originally appeared on our blog on Medium:

Updated on 8 April, 2021
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