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Student & Teacher

Viewed 107 times 2017-9-12 11:48 |Personal category:education|System category:Life

Student & Teacher

 

I was a difficult student, naughty, rebellious and disobedient.

 

I was so attention-craving that I would go against virtually all the not-so-important wishes or orders made by my teachers.

 

I never excelled in academic studying, nor any other field. Even though I made to the top of class sometimes, that came like a flash in the pan.

 

Of course, without a shred of doubt, I was never likable or anywhere near a standardized good student in teacher’s mind.  

 

As a result, in my primary school and junior high school, my heart was constantly brimmed with hostile feelings towards my teachers, the exceedingly strict teachers in particularly. It was like I was born with a natural hatred towards authority.

 

I had a few horrible teachers in the first 12 years of education. One of them was my supervisor in primary school. She never sided with me when I was involuntarily involved in a fight with my desk-mate who regarded teasing me or provoking me to get angry as an almost essential part of his daily entertainment. Because that guy’s parents had bribed this teacher by sending her gifts occasionally, this terrible teacher would always blame me for having a fight with him without getting to know what actually had happened.

 

One time, I felt like I had had enough of the nonsense and asked for a change of seat, which was almost expectedly declined adamantly. This was to a certain extent devastating to me then as I couldn't come up with another solution to lead me out of the quagmire. The only thing that helped me survive that period of time was the hope for a brand new life in middle school.

 

Due to my poor performance in study, I was asked to repeat my first grade of junior high school by my mom. Even though I wasn't passing exams with flying colors,  my achievement was to a great extent applaudable. But this only invited cold shoulders from most of my teachers. They generally felt this was quite unfair to the other students which I didn't and don't disagree.

 

I encountered with the worst and the best teacher in my life in junior high school. They were like devil versus angle to me.

 

The devil played favoritism to extremity. She could be all smiling to her pet students and extraordinarily cold to others. As a pretty ordinary student, I really hated this and once I wrote down the three Chinese character “I dislike her” in an exam paper. After reading it, she got so outrageous that she called me out to the corridor and scolded me loudly and harshly with every inconceivable and unspeakable words for at least half an hour. I don't remember what exactly she said but I do remember crying with big droplets of tears streaming down my face. I was then and there  paralyzed with horror and embarrassment. During this whole drama, my English teacher came to tell me to gather all students’ homework, which didn't stop demon’s harsh criticism. Being caught in this drama by my English teacher, I was overcame with shame. This basically crashed my pride and fueled my anger towards her. (I deserved punishment, but not one with such magnitude)

 

But my English teacher was extremely nice and gentle to me and a few other students who were living in the cramp dorm of the school. It was actually a classroom with over 20 double bunks and no toilet or washroom attached. She felt sorry for us to live in such poor environment and to eat tasteless food served in the small canteen and would ask us to come to her office to give us nutritious home-made food to eat, such as boiled eggs or stew. In my memory, she was always so tender and talk to people with a gentle voice. I had  never seen her lashing out harsh words at students. It was she who fueled my interest in learning English, which later changed me.

 

When furthering my education in Australia, I had a very approachable tutor who was ready to help whenever I confided my bewilderment to her. After starting my course, I was soon overwhelmed by the study load and the quantity of assessments I had to finish. I was completely lost. But she offered me help with regard to gathering necessary materials and academic materials. Her sound advice and generous kindness made me feel welcome in that foreign land and alleviated my serious homesick. 

 

Accidentally, I ended up being a teacher. I soon developed a strong fond towards this career. I like this job not because of its great meaning endowed by the public but because of the meaning it has infused into my life. It is teaching that makes me realize the pure joy of communication; it is teaching that equips me with more wisdom by forcing me to learn more knowledge; it is more importantly teaching that finds a better me, leading me to like myself more.

 

So far, I have taught hundreds of students most of whose name I have forgot. Also, I have ended up being friends with some of them. I have not only learnt a lot from my students and but also have been touched by them. For these, I will always be grateful to them.

 

When I was still relatively inexperienced, RW asked me to help her prepare IELTS test. Honestly, I was flattered to be the one chosen among several teachers she knew. Her course of preparation of studying in Britain was rather winding. Because of not meeting the language requirement, she had to defer once and she was under enormous stress for she quitted her study in a top Chinese university so as to wholeheartedly concentrate on preparing the language test and other necessary materials required for her study abroad. We had been having lessons for a long time and she was improving slowly. I was anxious that she would not make it as when I was leaving to Australia, she still hadn't achieved her goal. Fortunately, her efforts were paid back in the end.

 

She is a very sweet girl, so considerate that I was a few times nearly moved to tears by her. One time, I got a serious cold and IV fluid didn't help at all. She went to ask her father for a Chinese medicine prescription for treating cold. Then she went to buy all the herbs and made the medicine before handing it to me. She had insisted on doing that for a few days even though she had to bury herself in studying at the same time. I was absolutely astounded at the kindness she showed towards me.

 

RW is now pursuing her master degree in England and we had a quite enjoyable reunion last year. I am really glad to see how things have turned out.

 

Of course, I have had many other very nice students who have made me more resolute in being a teacher and who have made my life full of meaning as well as purpose. It is they who keep motivating me to stick steadfastly to what I have been doing.

 

PS: One of students contacted me after reading this and told me he felt sorry for what I had to go through and shared with me his experience with not-so-kind teachers. Doubtless, it is unfortunate that we sometimes have to stuck with bad teachers. But it is definitely fortunate that teachers are on the whole getting better.

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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  • Fear 2017-8-20 17:04

    These are the things I have feared that actually happened to me in my life of 66 years.
    1. Getting drafted and sent to Vietnam in 1970.
    2. Student gang members threats to teacher.
    3. Gun pulled on me by a student.
    4. Mugged by gang member with knife walking to store.
    5, Car jacked at gun point
    I could go on but my point is these things that happened to me in the USA,still cause fear to people in the USA. I do not fear these things in China.

  • Fear 2017-8-20 16:49

    I would never grade your writing as one has done here. Fear is good in certain situlations, you I feel fear the unknown furture like most of us do which is normal.Good thoughts you shared.Thanks

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