Teaching English is life work.
Last month we received a reminder of this that has really stayed with us. After the day of touring in Hualien we went our separate ways for supper in the city. Thanks to our tour guide, Jonathan and I found the dumpling restaurant that was a particular favorite of Chiang Kai-Shek when he was living. It was definitely worth a wait in line.
Meanwhile Mr. and Mrs. Martin took supper at a nice Chinese restaurant. As they made their way back, a middle-aged man, recognizing that they were foreigners, stopped them and started a conversation in English. In the course of the conversation, they told him that they were teachers and were volunteering their time here for a short while. He was surprised to hear this and began to thank them for their willingness to come and teach their native language in a far-off country. Tears of gratefulness welled up in his eyes to complete the message of the gratefulness he was trying to convey. It was a moving scene and the Martins were more than ready to pass the story of his gratefulness on to us when we met again.
During the trip home I reflected on the incident. A little goes a long way here. How much impact a few willing teachers can have!
The Martins will be returning home sooner than the rest of us and will leave their now-well-known Science Class in our hands. Their whole-hearted involvement and passion for seeing young minds grasp the treasures of science have been contagious! Thank you Marlin and Kathy for your example to us. May you continue to reap the rewards of heart-to-heart teaching.