I have taught in numerous schools over the years, and each experience is unique in its individual way. From traditional, conservative public schools to innovative and actively reforming branded private institutions; from newly established Chinese academies to the oldest, most prestigious schools… how fortunate am I to have gained such rich experience!
Aside from the classrooms and school grounds, my stage encompasses magazines, feature articles, the city, mountains and the sea. My friends include schoolmates, colleagues, former teachers and students. I am grateful to God for such wealth in my life!
In every school that I have worked, I was fortunate to find kind and down-to-earth like-minded fellow teachers. They were open-minded, intelligent, learned or humorous! On the professional level, we learn from each other, complement each other's strengths and weaknesses. At the workplace, we trust and support each other, and some would even stick their necks out for each other on matters of life and death. From them I learned not only academic knowledge, but also wisdom in life.
For a teacher of my experience, I haven't taught as many students as might be expected – merely a thousand or so. Yet the joys and emotions experienced in the past shall continue to drive me, my conviction and integrity will remain strong. I love it when students inherently display their silliness, their ambition, their air of authority and, their intellect and talent; I admire their demonstration of obsession, purity, talent, pleasure-seeking inclination and yes, even their occasional loss of attentiveness. I was moved by their ambitious and passionate essays. And sometimes I was also frustrated by their mistakes due to carelessness. Many times I was deeply touched by their unintended revelation of true inner selves. And also many times I was so excited by their excellent full-of-wisdom essays.
I have always been a person that prefers gatherings, and was never one for farewells. Whenever there are students who leave halfway, I become distraught. Whenever I say goodbye to a cohort at graduation, I inevitably feel a heavy sadness, although I was always delighted and comforted by each student's progression and growth.
So here I am, a cog in the cycle – bidding farewell to cohorts of graduates year after year, and welcoming cohorts of new students year after year. Spring and summer passed; autumn and winter have come and gone. The sky is clear without a trace, for the birds have all flown past…