Paychecks for others

There is a Canadian ESL teacher in Wuhan Maple Leaf: In order to help Grade 9 students successfully study in high school, he went to visit high school BC classes and learned about what skills that high school students need to master. He often stays at school and works during summer and winter vacations and finishes all the lesson plans and materials of the new semester, he even makes the workbook on his own. He used the weekend time to help and guide the students for the preparation of speech competition. He voluntarily stayed and helped to clean up after each GEP workshop. He is the “encyclopedia ” in bilingual teachers’ eyes. He voluntarily feeds the stray cats on campus… On this winter vacation, he stays on campus as usual and is making preparation for the new semester as usual.

This is an extraordinary winter holiday. It has been 23 days since the school winter holiday began on January 17, and it has been 17 days since Wuhan was closed. Everyone became more and more anxious, but he was positive and optimistic. Every time we talked with him, he said he was well protected and had enough food. As a Grade 9 teacher, he actively communicates with each bilingual teacher in the class, provides additional teaching resources, and undertakes the task of preparing lessons for some sections.

He responded to the school’s suggestion that the resident teacher go out shopping once a week. However, one day, when I received a photo from the director of general affairs, my heart tightened. I thought, why did Ted go out again? He had just been to the supermarket the day before yesterday. You know, Ted is 60 years old, and every time he goes out in these times, we worry about him. So I sent him a friendly reminder to try to go shopping only once a week. When I read Ted’s response, I smiled with relief and tears. It turned out that Ted was not shopping for himself, but for Lucia and her daughter. Lucia has just been here for less than half a year, with a nine-year-old daughter. She wanted to take advantage of the winter vacation to get familiar with Wuhan, but the epidemic took place. She was very nervous and had no means of transportation to go out for shopping. She has just been out one time for some basic stuff but no vegetables. Ted has a scooter and knows where to buy vegetables. In order to be safe, early in the morning, he went out of the door, went to a relatively partial supermarket. There were few people and  basically no line on the checkout. He bought there and immediately went back to the school.

I didn’t ask Lucia whether her vegetables were tasty, but I thought they’d find the cold, long winter especially warm.



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