Start with Trust

I still remember the first time I arrived in the UK several years ago and I still remember the first time teaching a class of students in the UK. It was so different from my classroom teaching in China. Here there were just 10 students instead of 60 students in China. However, over time the class size more than doubled due to word of mouth. The students were adults instead of teenagers. It was a very small classroom with only one white board instead of a big classroom with a huge black board on a wall.

I was a little bit excited to meet these new students. I was also a bit nervous because I wanted all the people to enjoy their two hours and I spent a long time preparing for the lessons. I was also happy to come back to classroom teaching. The first lesson went very smoothly and I was melted by the students’ hard learning so I started to chat with them. We had a happy chat and I felt more confident teaching in the UK.

A few weeks passed and several students mentioned that it would be good for them to start a small group lesson. One of the students kindly offered to hold our Chinese lesson in her house. I was delighted and feel honoured that they trusted me with their learning. As they trusted me, I trusted them as well. I felt excited when the first group lesson was about to happen.

Several weeks later, every one came to the student’s house at 3:00 pm Saturday. From then on it became a custom for us that every Saturday at 3:00 pm we arrived to enjoy two hours of a Happy Chinese lesson. It lasted nearly three years. Unfortunately this group lesson stopped running because of some of the students’ health condition but the trust and kindness they gave to me supported me going through a hard time. The care and advice they gave made me feel warm.

In the end the student’s successfully learned a lot. One student went on to achieve an A* grade in GCSE in spite of holding a full time professional job. Another was able to effectively communicate with Chinese relatives and others on an trip to China. Yet another is able to read Chinese literature. I feel very rewarded to know that I helped stimulate their interest in Chinese and each student still continues to learn Chinese.

Never too Old to Learn

I have been teaching for ten years and I have taught students of all ages. For me, every student is special, every student has their own method to learn and their own way of studying. This has inspired my teaching method. I teach my students Chinese and they inspire me in different ways.

One of the most moving class is the Chinese group lesson for over sixties. They are hard working, congenial and dedicated.  The image of them sitting in the squashed classroom concentrating on their writing stoke by stroke is a truly beautiful one.  They provide truly moving moments when they arrive on time every Monday no matter what kind of weather and try their best to get all the tricky tones right.

One of my oldest students is 93 years old. She has experienced nearly one century’s worth of events and changes but still come to our Happy Chinese Lesson with the help of her stick, humbly sitting in the little class room to have a 2 hour lesson every week. She is happy, witty and hard working.

Another student who is 70 is so dedicated in her Chinese that she is trying to learn words from her computer and learn to use a tablet to help her writing.

Every student who attends this class has their own story and prove that you are never too old to learn.

Happy Chinese Class

Happy Chinese Class, Happy Together

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