As you all know I am a teacher over here in China.  I teach a variety of students that range in age from 8 years old to 48 years old.   I have been a teacher here for three years.. and in those three years.. I have tried to not only teach English but teach some valuable life lessons.  I tried to open the eyes of some of the closed mind thinking that still strongly exist in China.  However, every now and then .. you have a “Proud Teacher Moment”… at least that is what I call them.  Periodically, when it happens I will blog about them… because it is one of the reasons I continue to be a teacher here.

In the mist of all the controversy with Chinese men marrying Black women… I had a very proud teacher moment today.    I just has to share it… I am still beaming with pride.

When I first came to this school to teach… I had a young high school boy who was in my class, around 16 yrs old.  He comes from a very, very rich family that has a lot of power and was treated as the traditional “golden child”  being the only son in a very wealthy family.  I could tell right off that this boy had the attitude that he was rich and he could do what he wanted, when he wanted, how he wanted to who he wanted.   He was dressed in all the expensive brand name clothes… and care about English and my class just about as much .. as I care about eating chicken feet.  He was a challenge but I stayed on his spoiled ass…. like white on rice….

It was my job to prepare this kid to go to England for high school, and university. I was supposed to teach him about life in a foreign country.  Great! …. so, for  six months straight … every day I had two and three-hour classes with this boy… and tried my best to help him understand how people are, what western thought processes were and just western life in general.  He finally left to go abroad… my great relief.

To my surprise … every year he comes back to see me…. at school.. bringing me gifts from England and telling me how I helped him a lot and that I am his favorite teacher.  He tells me that he remembers everything I told him and that I was right about it all…..  (wait that isn’t the proud teacher part)

Today... he came to the office and surprised me again…..due to the summer holiday from school.. he is back in China visiting family and me….. but this time it was not with a gift .. but with what he said to me….

Teacher Jo… I have realized a lot since I have been abroad. That some white people don’t like Asian people….and    I have some Black friends in school with me.. and they really thought that Chinese people didn’t like Black people.   They are really kind and nice to me…and are like my best friends.  I see now that Chinese people are very prejudice and are too materialistic. They cannot see that there are good people in every race…and  that not all people are good just because their skin is white.   I really don’t want to date a Chinese girl in the future.  I want to date a Western girl.  They are beautiful and pay more attention to who you are and not to what you have.   He said… I am going to buy a second-hand car in another year or so and find an apartment in a decent but not expensive part of town.   You have to save your money and value things you have.

My mouth hit the floor…. this was the spoiled rich kid I sent abroad?  This was the kid that was only thinking about buying up all the Gucci, Prada, and D&G products…. ?  This was the kid that did not even know the meaning of second-hand? This mature, intelligent,  handsome young man was someone I had help groom into a open-minded, productive person.   I was floored.  I could not stop smiling at him.  I even felt a tear…

I am so proud of what he has realized and learned about life and people.   He has learned to accept others for what they are on the inside.. not what they are on the outside.  He has learned that being different is okay and being rich doesn’t make you better than others.  He has learned that the traditional thinking he grew up with … may not be totally correct.  Most of all, he has learn to be a little more grateful for what he has.  His eyes have begun to open and see what has been missing.

Being a teacher in China is not an easy job.   You have all kinds of things to deal with … long hours, crazy schedules, irritating students… and bad management…. but .. on that rare occasion… when one of your student gives you credit for his growth…his success.. and his out look on life……. it is priceless.

until next time…..