Teaching with "Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance"
(Clearwisdom.net) My name is Mr. Zhou Qing and I am a 34-year old physics teacher. I used to teach physics at the No.1 High School of Jingshan County at Jingmen City, Hubei Province, but I have had no choice but to leave home to avoid persecution for practicing Falun Gong. In the course of my cultivation practice there have been several moving stories I'd like to share:
The Word "Please"
I was once assigned to teach the 12th Grade, Class 5. An incident occurred less than one month after the semester began, when the students still did not know me well. My physics class was the fourth class in the morning. I was early and waited outside the classroom. The third morning class was a language class on essays. Because many students did not turn in their assignments, the language teacher was mad and did not hear the class-ending bell amidst his rage. Though the students heard it, none dared to tell the teacher while he was fuming. Not until the bell rang again to begin the next class did the language teacher hear it. He continued to talk a few minutes more before he dismissed the class.
The students swarmed out of the classroom but came to a halt when they saw me, and quickly went back into the classroom. I followed them into the classroom and told them, "You can have a five-minute break if you hurry, but do not disrupt other classes in session."
After I started the class, three students reported back and waited at the door for my permission to enter. I said to them, "Please come in," and continued with my teaching. After a while, I saw the students still standing there. I thought they did not hear me clearly the first time, so I said to them again, "Come on in." One student took a step forward, but withdrew his feet when he saw that the other two did not move. That puzzled me. So I asked one student sitting by the podium why they did not come in. The student said, barely able to contain his chuckle, "The language teacher had just lost his temper, but you asked them to 'please' come in. They are afraid that you might be poking fun at them, so they dare not come in." The whole class laughed. I said immediately, "Then I will not say 'please', just come right in." The three students were relieved and quickly went to their seats.
On the third day, as soon as I arrived at the office, the language teacher asked me, "Mr. Zhou, what did you do to win the students' favorable impression so quickly?" I was at a loss, and said, "I am not sure what you are talking about. Who told you that?" The language teacher said, "In the students' essay, they wrote. 'Teacher Zhou is a very, very kind person." Right then, I suddenly understood a statement Master said that we practitioners should "pursue nothing and gain naturally." ("Explaining the Fa During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference")
Teacher Evaluations Score: 100 Percent "A"
Once I was assigned to teach two classes in the tenth grade. Throughout the course of my teaching assignment, I always required of myself to act as much as possible according to the principles of "Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance." For example, when I was correcting student's assignments, instead of just putting checks and crosses, I also commented on where the problems were, and for some students I gave them encouragement. When the end of the year was approaching, the school conducted a customary major assessment on all aspects of the school's teaching, including students' evaluation of the teaching staff. The students' staff evaluation is each student's total appraisal of all the teachers teaching that class, and covers many aspects including teaching ability and performance, teachers' ethical standard etc. The grades are A, B, C, and D. To avoid being misled by the grades, the school stipulates that results with 100 percent "A" or "D" are invalid, because either extreme situation is unlikely to happen.
However, in this student evaluation, I had a perfect grade: there were 76 students in the class, and everyone gave me an "A." Taking my consistent performance into consideration, the school officials acknowledged the validity of this perfect grade. The grade I got from the student evaluation in another class was also the highest. A young teacher jokingly said to me, "I hope I am not teaching the same class that you teach--that is a hard act to follow."
Once I took over a class, and taught for less than a month; the mid-term exam was also less than a month away. During a self-study test, I found out that they cheated a lot--almost everyone in the class had cheated. I was very disappointed at the time. (The students I taught in the past seldom cheated, and I almost never watched over them during tests.)
I remember Master said,
"...if all a person wants is the well-being of others and if this is without the slightest personal motivation or personal understanding, what he says will move the listener to tears." ("Clearheadedness"--Essentials For Further Advancement)
So, I spent one entire class period talking to the students about the consequences of cheating. I spoke from the economic situation in the farms to the hardship of urban workers, and from the helpless parents of government officers, to the responsibility we have to society, etc. It lasted for the entire class. During the time I spoke, I saw some students lowering their heads, some with tears in their eyes while others sobbed over their desks. I also felt bad, and that I might have been too hard on them without considering if they were able to take it.
The bell then rang signaling the end of the class. In a somber tone, I said, "I hope you all can remember what I said, so our time wasn't wasted." I then turned around and was about to step outside. To my surprise, I heard applause, which started with just a few students clapping, then more students joined in, and very soon the entire class was applauding. I almost could not hold my tears, and hurriedly left the classroom. I said to Master in my heart, "Master, I have done too poorly. Your words '...if all a person wants is the well-being of others and if this is without the slightest personal motivation or personal understanding, what he says will move the listener to tears.' ("Clearheadedness" --Essentials For Further Advancement) are so correct! I will definitely strive to cultivate more diligently and not disappoint Master's kind lesson."
Standing in for Classes
One colleague fell ill and was hospitalized. All other teachers went to pay him a visit, but one thing was neglected: to help with the sick colleague's classes. Moreover, the school official responsible also forgot about it. After I found out about it, I quickly and quietly stood-in for the classes. When the school official responsible remembered it, I had already substituted for quite a number of classes.
Afterwards, the school official asked me how many classes I had substituted for. Because the teacher had missed a number of classes, his pay would be deducted proportionally, and I would be paid about 1.5 times the corresponding sum deducted. I said to the school official that colleagues should help each other out. That colleague was sick and suffering. Now his pay would be deducted. That did not sound too good. I would not be one to haggle over it. Besides, I truly could not remember how many classes I had stood-in for.
Several days later, I received a letter from the school official. It turned out he had checked with other teachers and verified the situation about my serving as substitute teacher. In addition to giving me the pay for the class substitution, they also gave me an additional reward of 80 Yuan. I gave it some thought and decided to return the 80 Yuan. So I wrote a letter to the school official, and told him that we practitioners always think of others first, and would not think about reward while helping others. If I were to accept extra reward, it would be contrary to my original wishes.
After reading my letter, the school official came and talked to me, "We know you do not pursue fame and interest. But the purpose of rewarding you is not for the reward itself. It is because such spirit is really needed in our school. This 80 Yuan is not for yourself; but to encourage such a spirit." I was touched by his sincerity and understanding, and accepted it. Several days later, this was mentioned in the school newsletter. It ended with, "... not pursuing fame and interest. It is really admirable."
Below is a poem I wrote to express my gratitude to Master.
Immersed in the bitter sea of fame and gain for thousands of years
So lost in sentiment, oblivious to Dafa here
Blessed are those who from the prolonged dream, by Master are awakened
Rushing headlong home, I will soon be there
May 22, 2004