A Proud Teacher Moment….


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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…..to 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…..

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11 thoughts on “A Proud Teacher Moment….

  1. Pingback: Out With the Old… In with the New… again « Life Behind The Wall

  2. I really enjoyed reading this entry. A person in a position of power/influence always hope to be able to help change a person for the better but it seems rarely do people receive evidence that they have done so. I’m imagining that your heart is effected and I know my heart is warmed just from this story.

    I believe his family(parents) must be having a fit. If his ideology has changed, he probably is showing it at home when he visits. Sadly his family may not realize this is all for the better.

    1. that is true…. Im sure his parents are not really happy with me… but… I think they will be happy when he isnt spending all there money… on brand names … hehehe… not sure how that bring a foreign wife home thing is going to work… but … i look forward to seeing continue to grow up…..

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  4. Congratulations! What an inspiring story 🙂

    A lot of Chinese students who go abroad get a rude awakening when faced with completely different rules and ways of thinking/doing things. In my experience (at my university), many of these students end up only socializing with other Chinese students and watch tv shows from China, and basically not participate in American culture despite physically being here. At first I thought because it’s because they’re not confident in their English but I noticed they also tend to avoid Chinese-Americans, even ones who speak fluent Chinese like myself. I mean, I understand the tendency to seek out compatriots in a foreign land but I guess I don’t get the exclusivity.

    If I were in their position, I would take advantage of a study-abroad opportunity to really get to know the culture, people, etc and really get something out of the immersion experience (like your student seems to have done). But all the students I’ve encountered only seem to care about being here long enough to get an American diploma before heading back to China.

    Why do you think that is and have you encountered similar attitudes among your other students?

    1. I have encountered that a lot….. this is because of how they are ..”brain-washed” in a sense. They are told by there parents what to do… go there get the education and then come back here and take care of me. They are told they have to do this… because we are paying for you to live there….etc. they are also afraid.. most have never met a foreigner so when they get to America they are scared shitless…… you know .. most local people over here think all of us are walking around shooting people, and that we hate any Chinese people… it is true… so most of the time they are afraid…… that is why i tried my best to make cracks in the wall…. so they can be more open and friend when they go abroad.

  5. k.jay

    That is soo cool. Sometimes the fight can be weary but then you get this! Keep doin what you do girl! Break down those walls!

  6. Shumin

    Wow, that’s great to hear! It’s awesome that he broke away from that ‘golden child’ syndrome and ditched the materialistic ways of his upbringing. It goes to show people who grew up in racially homogenous countries (like most Asian nations) really need to experience life abroad in multicultural countries (Australia, US, Canada etc) in order to change the ethnocentric ways they’ve been instilled with. People will be more inclined to change for the better once they are exposed to different cultures. With him being the only child and a male, I just hope he would be willing to stand up to his parents if he does bring home a foreign girl, since it is likely they would be the backwards ultra-traditional type. Well done again for transforming this guy to what he is now!

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