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Why I Continue To Teach In China

Popularity 11Viewed 8519 times 2016-2-17 19:46 |Personal category:Education|System category:News| China

I've been in China now for almost 4.5 years. More than 4,000 classes and nearly as many students has given me experiences I'll never forget. 

I didn't come here in need of job. I semi-retired in 2005, nearly 11 years ago. I wrote a book that sold quite well during that time and got hundreds of invitations to speak at various venues regarding my message. However, after having many years building a private school and watching it thrive and succeed, I never got education out of my heart and soul. It had become a part of me. In 2011, I found myself in place where I could give back in a more significant way than I ever had before. That's when I came to China.

I came here at the invitation of a highly successful educator in the USA. He was from China and held a doctorate level degree from an Ivy League school. He had 20 years of experience and tenure as a professor in the USA. A good man and friend, however, after I arrived here it didn't take long to realize we had two very different ideas about serving the educational needs of Chinese children. So, we parted ways on very good terms and rather than return to the USA, I chose to stay here and make a difference in the lives of Chinese children.

One thing that I realized right away is that very few, if any, foreign teachers really knew how to develop educational programs that were effective in producing high quality students who were prepared and equipped to study in the West. I knew how because I'd done it successfully in my own school in the USA for 15 years. My school there had about 750 students when I sold the property and transferred the school to very capable and experience educators.

Something has 'gotten into my blood' over the last four years. My passion, rather than declining or waning, is stronger today than it has ever been. I've enjoyed watching students go on to excel in ways that I'd hoped and dreamed for them. There are so many stories I wished there was time enough for me to share.

I've changed in the past 4.5 years. I will say that my change has been welcomed and all for the better. One thing that I've done that suits my character well is that I've stayed in one place for all of this time. I've had invitations to some rather well funded and excellent schools in Beijing, Harbin, Shanghai and Guangzhou. However, I believe that the greatest need was right here in Henan. It's not the most glamorous and certainly not the most metropolitan place in China, but, it is where the need is. That's why I stay. It is why I stay in China and stay planted where I can do the most good to add my contribution in making the world a better place.

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




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Reply Report AndrewCraven 2016-2-18 19:54
You are a splendid person. Thanks for the contributions you've made in the past five years.
Like Henan Changchun city in which I live  is not a metropolitan either.  Without many foreigners it is a undeveloped place. I wish people like you could come to help the  children here.
Reply Report claudeckenni 2016-2-19 03:30
I admire you. Teaching is not easy, I know because I am a teacher as well. Teaching is my passion, I started teaching since I was 17 years old, but in my country they don't respect teachers. Teachers get a very low pay, even lower than factory workers. And here in China, because I'm not a native English speaker, it's also so hard to find a teaching job. There are very few universities that have Indonesian Language as major. And teaching English is also not an option. I tried applying for a teaching job in a few kindergartens and colleges in the past but they rejected me because I doesn't look like a "foreigner". I still haven't give up on my dream though, I will get my Master in June and I still have a few months time to look for a teaching job in China.

It's not an easy road but I believe in the end it will be worth it. I am who I am today because of my teachers, and now it's my turn to give back to the world. To teach is to inspire change. Every child deserves a teacher – an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be. And that's what we teachers are.
Reply Report amylhz 2016-2-19 15:32
I like the word "passion" which you use to describe teaching. You must be a great teacher.
Reply Report xieke1990 2016-2-21 08:53
i think China need more foreigner experts just like you
Reply Report voice_cd 2016-2-22 07:39
claudeckenni: I admire you. Teaching is not easy, I know because I am a teacher as well. Teaching is my passion, I started teaching since I was 17 years old, but in ...
jia you! waiting for your good news.
Reply Report Alamaomao 2016-2-22 15:42
claudeckenni: I admire you. Teaching is not easy, I know because I am a teacher as well. Teaching is my passion, I started teaching since I was 17 years old, but in ...
Good luck!!!!Hope you can find good job.!!

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Michael is the author of the transformational book, Powerful Attitudes. He is a professional educator, an educational consultant, an author. He lives in Zhengzhou, Henan Province. He enjoys playing guitar and writing poetry. He loves China.


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