Respect is Earned

With only six more weeks until the end of the semester, and Summer fast approaching I finally feel like I am beginning to earn the respect of my fellow teachers.  As you know I live on the University campus in foreign teacher housing, which should be super convenient to get to class.  What you may not know is that this semester they are bussing me across town to our sister campus downtown.  There is a school van that picks me up on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday’s and the drive takes about forty-five minutes each way.

I was really bitter about having to be bussed across town three days a week at the beginning of the semester, but it has been a real blessing.  Most of the other Chinese teachers speak English so it has given me a great opportunity to get to know a few of them.  

One of my friends on the bus, asked me if I was the foreign teacher that had the problem student. I replied that I was, and he went on to explain that he was the Vice Dean of the Finance Department and had been involved in the meeting regarding my student.  Before I continue, let me fill you in on the story.

in one of my classes this semester the school had added a number of new students during the first few weeks of class.  Then in week five, I had twelve new students show up in one class period, and it disrupted the entire dynamic of the class and made it impossible for me to teach.  The students were rude, and disruptive and disrespectful.  My classes are easy, they are simple, and I expect all of my students to do well and make good grades in my class.  The one thing that I demand is respect.  I drill my kids hard on it.  You don’t talk when I or another student is talking.  

One boy in particular was giving me a huge amount of trouble, and would continually talk from the back row while other students were sharing their comments.  Over the next three weeks I tried everything I knew to do to get him to behave in my class.  I called him out for talking on several occasions, I moved his seat, and even kicked him out of the classroom for being late, but nothing seemed to work.  

Finally I had to go to the administration about the problem and they met with the young man.  That’s where the man of the bus comes in.  I had asked for this student to be reprimanded and/or removed from my class, which he was.  What I didn’t know is that he was not only removed from my class, but had been kicked out of the Finance department and had to change his major to another field in the University.  Apparently he had also been causing problems in his other classes and had cheated on a final exam.

So the end of the story is that the school took me seriously and had my back when I needed them.  I am richly blessed, and after eight months in China I am finally figuring out what it is that I’m doing.

As always, I love you all and look forward to seeing you in July.

Love and Hugs,



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