to mr. xue

October 6, 2005


Dear Mr. Xue,


Your letter will keep me in a good mood for the years to come. Hehe.


Congratulations! You are really something, dear. The entrance test is very eliminating, yet you came out one of the best, and it is a good military academy. This is really something worth celebrating. Good luck, boy.


What you have achieved should be contributed to your own efforts. If I have played a part in your success, that is an honor which I will treasure in my heart. I remember you very well though we stayed together in the same class for only one year. That year was a turning point in my teaching career, because in that year I started to change my teaching style. Before that year I taught for words and phrases plus grammar. After that year I taught for meaning, which I now do every day. I remember calling you Gentleman Xue for you were so shy so nice that you were almost a girl.


The first card you sent me really surprised me. I still keep the card in my cupboard. I never thought I could have such influence over you and please do not think so highly of me. I am just a teacher. To be able to make a difference in my students is my biggest satisfaction with my job.


You are right. I felt sad when Mr. Hu’s original class broke up, for I lost so many nice friends. That sadness was carved in my heart. But as you have realized, there are some things in the world we cannot change. When there is nothing to be done, we have to change ourselves. The ability to adapt to new environments is one of the surviving skills in today’s China. I am very happy that you have learned the lesson. And your recent success is what your ability to adapt has awarded you. Keep this ability up.


My English is very good now, especially my spoken English. Hope one day we can chat in English. I believe I am in a better position to teach English now than when you were my student. I love the language and I will keep working on it.


You understand me so well by saying that some of my students could misbehave since I always smile in class. That is true. But my way is my way. I should give the students freedom to do what they want and they should have the ability to judge what is right and what is wrong. If some cannot, then they will suffer and they will learn.


You can email me at or at My home phone number is ****—*******. I have no mobile now. And this letter will also be posted on my blog. If you have access to the Internet, welcome to visit my blog at


Thanks again, Gentleman.





5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Huang
    Oct 07, 2005 @ 12:18:14

    hi Shengliver, touching letter! how is it going? good i hope. it’s going ok here. i like ur space not cos u r a nice teacher lol also it calls me the complicated story when i were in the senior high school.i should say the life as a student was really boring. the task of meeting daily requierments n’ completing home work assighments is overloading. it seems as if there shall never be a dull moment. what high scholl in China! so crazy as it is ,i still got my own way at that is not that difficult to maintain a high grade point average if an individual is willing to study. i was the one cos i knew the only way relief from strain is the satisfaction of a nice score.sometimes,i wwas really unbearable,esp my dad asked me the qestion what did u stand in u class, it drove me crazy!! although, it was valuable, order to win more free,it is worth a try.maybe it’s absurd as the motivation it was!lol….i am no t the right apple in the teacher’s eyes but i just know what i want.i did many things forbidden and they benifited me a lot for my whole life.i am limited for time now so if u r interested,reach my free talk board,i’ll write the way,ur english is quite nice,just write as its way,that’s will be excellent^_^


  2. Oct 07, 2005 @ 13:00:37

    another student`s thanks went to you. congralulations!l am curious about him.were we classmates ?


  3. Shengliver
    Oct 08, 2005 @ 10:28:41

    Dear linshui917,You must have been a clever kid in your student days. Under the current education system in China, that motivation of yours is justified. Hehe. I bet many of my current students share your motivation—-a high score will win them some freedom to do what they desire, as you call the forbidden things. Those forbidden things are not necessarily BAD or GOOD. But they should provide students with opportunities to find out about their real selves.I am not a good teacher, traditionally speaking. I am quite rebellious, just like a teenager. I hate the education system. I have been working in high school for over a decade. I know the high school experience is a mind-numbing one, stupefying rather than inspiring the young minds. I could say creativity is killed rather than cultivated. Worse still, the value of honesty is lost. And the high school experience encourages dishonesty in a sense.At times I cry for my students, also for myself and the nation. When can the kids have a meaningful high school experience? A system riddled with problems is to be remedied urgently.Thanks, friend. Welcome back.


  4. Shengliver
    Oct 08, 2005 @ 10:29:42

    Yes, Chen. He was one of your classmates in Grade 1.


  5. Huang
    Oct 09, 2005 @ 11:46:33

    donot worry shengliver,though i donot know about the current situation very much,it seems ok.something u talked about just call me the memories of my school days,no t so terrible at all.regarding the education system,i should say it is in the process of improving,but the teachers really need to contribute more creative and valuable teaching ways to inspire students.i know many teachers today are really in a dilemma,and they do have their own likes and dislikes,lol how to say it…i mean the communication based on equal footing,ie the important thing


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