[Celebrating World Falun Dafa Day] Falun Dafa’s Upright Principles Guide Me as a Teacher
(Minghui.org) I began practicing Falun Dafa in April 1999, and I teach at a renowned high school in China. The head of my department was about to retire. When the administration discussed replacement candidates, a vice principal recommended me and said that I was young, top-notch and got along well with my colleagues; placing me in charge would foster academic development. Another leader immediately pointed out that because I practice Falun Dafa and it was being persecuted, it could negatively impact the school.
They considered other candidates but felt none were satisfactory. In the end, the vice principal who recommended me said that after I began practicing Dafa, my illnesses were resolved and my classes were top-notch for many years. I did not compete for fame or money, so I was the best candidate.
The administration decided to make me the new department head. When the principal recounted the entire selection process, I was very moved because Falun Dafa was being severely persecuted at the time. It was a hugely difficult decision for the administrators to do the right thing. I told the principal, “I never thought I’d be a department head. Since you trust me, I will accept the position. If there are more suitable candidates, I will step back.”
Dafa Gives Me the Wisdom to Rectify Long-Term Conflicts
The department used to work well together. Later, there was a conflict between several experienced teachers. The grievances ran deep, and the atmosphere became tense, which made the department the most discordant in the school. The cause of conflicts was money. Several experienced teachers made lists of practice questions for students. In addition to selling them to students at our school, they also sold them to other schools. Whoever writes more and sells more gets more money, and the person in charge gets an extra bonus.
Most of the teachers participated in this lucrative scheme. Several teachers who got less money complained about the unfair distribution and questioned the person in charge. The person in charge was upset and felt that getting paid more for organizing the team was justified. They quarreled, and the conflicts gradually deepened.
School leaders tried to mediate with little success. This tense situation went on for several years. I hadn’t started practicing Falun Dafa yet. I felt that I was young and had more opportunities to make money, so I didn’t get involved in this conflict, but I also hoped to make more money.
When I became the department head, I decided to use the sincerity, kindness and forbearance taught by Falun Dafa to get along with every teacher and lead everyone to create a harmonious, upward and dynamic group.
After I took office, the most difficult thing was writing practice questions for the seniors. In order to ensure the quality of the materials, I selected the most knowledgeable teachers to write the questions. That was unprecedented for our school. I shared my thoughts during the teachers’ meeting and said, “These materials reflect the wisdom and efforts of our department. It reflects our school’s high standards. This is the best material in the province, and it cannot be measured with money. This material is only for our students. After this year’s seniors are done with it, it will be perfected and passed on to next year’s seniors. We won’t make a profit from our students. We’ll only charge what it costs.” Everyone agreed.
I told the administrators and hoped that the school would reimburse the manuscript fee to the teachers who edited the materials. To show their encouragement, they quickly approved it and praised my decision. I was unanimously nominated chief editor. I spent a lot of time on the contents and reviewed each question carefully. The first year, everyone was paid an equal amount for the manuscripts. After that, I no longer took a penny. I told everyone that I had a monthly allowance as the department head, so I was already paid.
I wanted the others to be compensated as much as possible. I’m a Falun Dafa practitioner and should think of others first so they wouldn’t worry about money or hurt feelings. The following year, the administrators had the other departments do as we did.
Paving the Way for Young Teachers
Almost every year, our school teaches open classes at the provincial and municipal levels. There’s also a nationwide selection of quality courses every two years. These are good opportunities for young teachers to showcase their talent and to improve their skills. With today’s standards, they have to be innovative and impressive, so it is very hard to come up with a good class. Inexperienced teachers basically put together things from the Internet, so their curriculums are usually not approved.
In order to help young teachers take this difficult step, I first gave them suggestions so they can prepare. I also proposed a schedule to present the materials and repeatedly communicated with them. After their trial lecture, I listened to the other teachers’ suggestions to see where we could improve.
Before me, no one prepared someone else’s open class as if it were their own. It not only requires a lot of effort but also carries a lot of responsibilities and pressure. I did this because I practice Dafa. I did it from my heart, not only for our department, but so the young teachers could improve. This was widely praised by our counterparts inside and outside the province. The principal also came to listen and commended us.
I told the teachers that I would cheer for them. It wasn’t about establishing backdoor relationships with judges or fighting for honor through improper means. We needed to enter the competition in an upright manner and earn the judges’ recognition.
Four people in our department won the first prize and the special prize for national quality courses; we also had the most “Provincial Rookie” winners among all the schools. Our approach became a model for all the departments in the school. Our young teachers have become the school’s backbone, and they’ve become renowned provincial and municipal teachers and school-level leaders.
The positive changes in our department have allowed all of the school’s administrators and teachers to witness the sincerity, selflessness, and kindness of a Dafa practitioner and feel the goodness of Falun Dafa.
An older teacher praised me in front of the entire group: “You are so righteous and selfless and have sacrificed so much. The department completely changed after you became the head. Now everyone sits happily together. Thank you so much!”
Treating Each Student with Compassion
I began teaching a new class two years ago. One student fell asleep as soon as class started. I woke her up. The next day it happened again. When I checked her last exam score, she was at the bottom. When I privately asked why she fell asleep, she said she couldn’t understand what was taught. No wonder she didn’t hand in homework. I asked her to show me her class notes and was surprised to see that she hadn’t taken any! This was rare in a prestigious school like ours. I asked her to write down a few things she learned in the last lesson. She couldn’t write half of it. My heart sank.
On second thought, was this the way I treated the top students? Where was my compassion? I quickly thought of ways to help her. I told her that she had time to catch up but that she would have to endure a lot of hardship. I told her to buy a notebook and start taking notes in class. She could also come to my office to do her homework and ask questions. She was happy and asked if she could go to my office right after lunch. I agreed.
Since then, she has concentrated in class, and her grades have gradually improved.
A year later, I stopped teaching this class. Before I left, every student wrote me a letter. She wrote, “Everyone said I have to study hard, but no one showed me how to learn. Others mocked me for my poor grades, but no one was willing to help me. But you are different. You really helped me and showed me how to learn. Teacher, thank you! You’ve had a positive effect on my whole life. I will continue to learn!” I was very touched. I knew she gained not only self-confidence and better grades, but more importantly, the seeds of sincerity and kindness have been planted in her.
I’ve repeatedly won the title of “Most Popular Teacher” and twice won the “Outstanding Contribution Award for Education and Teaching.”
At the end of 2017, the school’s Communist Party Secretary said, “You are a hero at our school. You do not compete for fame or profit. We decided to award you 20,000 yuan so you and your wife can go on vacation.” I said I could just take a break at home and there was no need to give me money. Two days later, an officer brought the money to my office and insisted that I accept it.
After he left, I took the money to the secretary’s office and said, “I thank the leadership, but I can’t take this money because I practice Falun Dafa, and I should do my job well in accordance with the requirements of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. My achievements at work are the result of everyone’s efforts. I’m just one part of the team. I don’t want the money, but I appreciate the leadership’s kindness.”
I had told him about Dafa and its persecution by the Communist Party before, and he had a good impression of Dafa. I used this opportunity to tell him more. He said, “You are different from others. I respect you.”
“A benevolent person always has a heart of compassion. With no discontentment or hatred, he takes hardship as joy.” (“Realms,” Essentials For Further Advancement)
Dafa teaches me to be a better person. I will keep Dafa in my heart, cultivate well and strive forward diligently.