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Lighting up a lamp of learning for the children in the mountains

On the coast of the South China Sea and at the foot of Phoenix Mountain, there are a group of young students from “Double First-class Initiative” university, who care about remote mountainous areas and rural education.

A year ago, as the first “Outstanding Teachers Program”(special teacher cultivation plans for undeveloped areas in China's central and western regions)normal students of Beijing Normal University at Zhuhai, seven of them wrote a letter to General Secretary Xi Jinping, telling about their learning gains since entering college and expressing their youthful dreams of taking root in teaching and educating people in the countryside after graduation.

Before Teachers' Day last year, General Secretary Xi wrote back, placing ardent expectations on them, encouraging them to serve in places where country and people need them most, and strive to become a qualified teacher with firm ideals and beliefs, moral sentiments, solid knowledge and benevolence.

Students attending the “Outstanding Teachers Program” are a new force to improve the quality of primary and secondary school teachers in underdeveloped areas of central and western China. After graduating from college, they will teach in the central and western regions and become guides for groups of children.

Since 2021, Beijing Normal University's "Outstanding Teachers Program" has recruited 1,800 undergraduates from all over the country and trained them on the Zhuhai campus, providing a stage for young people who are interested in rural education.

September 10th this year is the 39th Teacher's Day in China. On this special day, the students of the “Outstanding Teachers Program” reviewed General Secretary Xi’s letter. Over the past year, they have studied hard, practiced their skills, increased their knowledge and broadened their horizons. During the summer vacation, they also went to rural schools in remote areas of the central and western regions to practice, lighting up a lamp of learning for the children in the mountains.

Representative of students who wrote the letter  in the“Outstanding Teachers Program”

A standing lighthouse

As the pathfinder of the "Outstanding Teachers Program", we sometimes have difficulties in learning and will inevitably be uneasy." said Xiong Guojin, from Cengong County, Guizhou Province, majored in geographical science. "How to be a good teacher" has always been the focus topic of discussion between him and his classmates.

Xiong Guojin, a student of "Outstanding Teachers Program"

Wang Minyu, a student majoring in physics, felt "utterly at a loss" when facing the basic physics experiment class, which motivated him instead, because he knew that he could not teach well if he could not learn well. Therefore, she must ponder over the experimental principle, practice the experimental skills, listen attentively in class, and keep to review and summarizing after class. In short, she will not give up until she understands it.

Wang Yuyu, a student of “Outstanding Teachers Program” (left)

"I didn't understand scientific research before and felt that it had nothing to do with us, but it is different now." said Wang Qiongyu. He, majored in English, and four students formed a research team of "Innovation and Entrepreneurship Training for College Students" to explore how new teachers can shorten the teaching growth time at the initial stage of employment, and tasted the sweetness of promoting education reform by scientific research methods.

"Holding an umbrella" for rural children

When She was a child, Zhang Ran, majored in biological science, often complained that her mother had no time to accompany her. Her mother, a rural teacher, proudly "showed off" small handmade souvenirs given by students, which also made her "misunderstand" that her mother preferred her students to her daughter. It was not until she applied for the “Outstanding Teachers Program” that Zhang Ran suddenly understood her mother's pride.

Zhang Ran, a normal student of “Outstanding Teachers Program”

"Be a teacher by example" and "persevere and make good contributions to rural education" … Xiao Ke, a girl who grew up in Chengdu, is also eager to become a rural teacher. Thirty years ago, her grandfather taught in a village school built on a hillside, leading three classes and teaching five subjects by himself, hoping to change the fate of children in the mountains. A notebook given by Xiao Ke’s grandfather, full of truth words, slowly in her heart buried the seed of the dream.

"I want to be a good teacher and try to narrow the educational gap between urban and rural areas." said Yang Haobo, majored in physics, spent an unforgettable primary school time in the isolated countryside of Sichuan Province. At the age of 12, his parents sent him to Mianyang to receive urban education. After feeling the gap between urban and rural education, he decided to apply for the “Outstanding Teachers Program” and return to remote areas to change the situation of rural education.

Yang Haobo, a student of “Outstanding Teachers Program” (left)

Peng Xue, majored in biological science, is from Nayong County, Bijie City, Guizhou Province. In high school, a math teacher traveled thousands of miles from Shanxi to teach in Guizhou, which changed Peng Xue's life direction and helped her enter the university and walk out of the mountains. "He used to be my guide, and now I want to be a guide for children in the mountains." She said.

The flower of youth is blooming

This group of "post-00s" college students came to remote villages for internships, and deeply realized that teachers are not only teachers who impart book knowledge, but also "Sir" who shape students' character, conduct and taste.

In July this year, Xiao Ke arranged a class meeting on dreams in No.1 Middle School of Cengong County, Qiandongnan Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture, Guizhou Province.

She was surprised to find that what bothered them was not "realizing their dreams", but "not daring to have dreams". Under Xiao Ke's continuous encouragement, the students gradually plucked up courage to speak loudly: "I have never seen the sea and want to be a captain." "I want to learn cooking outside the mountains and then return to my hometown to open a restaurant." "I am very thin, but I want to be a policeman"...

"To dream, you must first dare to think." After this special class meeting, the students learned to look up at the stars and look forward to the future.

"A small arrangement and a simple encouragement can change a child." While volunteering in Fuping County, Baoding City, Hebei province, Li Ruoyu, majored in English found that a student was always a loner and afraid to communicate, so she often chatted with her, and specially arranged the task of "small host" for her at the class party. One day, the student suddenly ran up and said, "Ms.Li, I've never had any friends, but now I really want to make friends with you!"

Li Ruoyu, a student of “Outstanding Teachers Program”

During the summer vacation, 336 students of “Outstanding Teachers Program” went to Sichuan, Yunnan, Guangxi, Gansu, Qinghai and other 18 places to carry out teaching practice, so that more children in the mountains can know the wonderful world outside.

Becoming a rural teacher is the youthful dream of this group of "post-00s" college students.