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媒体报道:外教史梅淳扎根宁夏乡村“支教”

发布者: 李明花  发布时间:2019-10-03   浏览次数:

近日,我校外教史梅淳老师扎根宁夏乡村事迹被参考消息和新华网报道,现将报道内容附下。

美国人史梅淳(梅丽莎·史密斯)这些年换了好几部手机,但手机里一直保存着一张黑白照片。照片上是1993年的宁夏回族自治区固原市最繁华路段,没有如今常见的高楼大厦,只有布满瓦砾的小路与残破零落的矮房。

“我去过中国很多大城市,但最终选择留在宁夏,因为这里的人待我就像家人,让我感受到爱与温暖,我想回报他们。”一头银发、身材瘦削的史梅淳背着书包,笑得像个孩子。

1993年,26岁的史梅淳因工作来到宁夏大学,从事教师培训工作,后留任当了三年外教。三年时光虽短,却让她难以忘怀,因此在归国深造获得教育学博士学位后,她又在2004年再次回到宁夏,从此扎根于此,安心当起“宁夏人”。

身处城市的这些年,史梅淳并没有忘记贫穷的固原乡村。她创办了宁夏立爱教育咨询公司,一方面为更多学校培训英语教师,另一方面招募志愿者,和他们一起将先进的教育理念与真诚的关怀带给山区那些“淳朴、可爱的孩子们”。

史梅淳坚信“课外阅读对孩子的成长非常关键”。她不仅自费购书数千册,还与宁夏大学学生发起“爱的交响曲”公益演出活动,募捐来的钱全部用于购置图书,捐给贫困地区的学校。

每隔一段时间,史梅淳会去固原市的乡村学校一趟,给孩子们读书,跟他们一起做游戏。

多年的教育经验让史梅淳意识到,除了书籍,这些孩子还需要“爱”与“关注”。在仍旧与她保持密切联系的孩子中,有一名已大学毕业,目前从事室内装修设计。

“第一次见面时她还是六年级学生,和我聊天时她哭了,家庭的贫困让她不堪重负。”史梅淳说。她把精心挑选的书本送给那个孩子,鼓励她写下阅读感受,有时也邀请她到家里做客,就这样默默陪伴她长大成人。

“现在那个安静的女孩变得开朗自信,拥有一份自己喜欢的工作。”史梅淳说,更让她感动的是,这个女孩不只是“接受”,也在“回报”———鼓励其他和她面临相似困境的孩子们。

由于对宁夏教育事业的贡献,史梅淳曾获得宁夏“六盘山友谊奖”;2014年,她获得中国政府友谊奖。

面对荣誉,这位美国外教很是谦虚,“我只是一名普通的老师,做了自己该做的事”。

时光荏苒,曾经风华正茂的年轻女子已年过半百。除了每年夏天回美国探望年迈的老父亲以及兄弟姐妹,她把所有的时间和精力都放在了宁夏的英语教育上。

“中国变化太大了,我刚来时和家人联系只能写信,打电话半个小时就得70美元,而现在可以随时随地视频聊天;中国的教育变化更大,乡村孩子有了新校舍和免费早午餐,也变得更加大胆自信了。”史梅淳说。

按照传统,再过几年,史梅淳就该退休了,但她却希望把这个退休的年龄推迟到70岁。“我爱宁夏,爱这里的老师和学生。”(记者 艾福梅 马思嘉)

参考消息原文链接:http://www.jdqu.com/html/ckxx/2019/10/2/1306582-12.html

YINCHUAN, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- Melissa K. Smith had replaced several mobile phones over the past 26 years. However, the American English teacher alway keeps a black-and-white photo on her phone that was taken in northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region in 1993.

The old photo depicts the busiest street in the city of Guyuan, where there were only gravel paths and shabby dwellings. It was taken by Smith 26 years ago when she first came to China.

When she was 26 years old, she worked at Ningxia University, training teachers and teaching English for three years. Born in Indiana of America, she had never been to such a poor place before. She did not expect that the English language teaching level in the hinterland would be so far behind the times.

But the years in Ningxia left her many unforgettable memories, which made her believe that she would come back to Ningxia again.

"It's my second hometown, and it feels like I have grown up here," Smith said.

Smith returned to Ningxia after she got a Ph.D. in education in 2004, determined to improve the English language education in the region.

"Most English teachers in the university had never spoken to foreigners at that time. They could hardly speak fluent English," said Li Yuhong, a professor, who was then an English teacher with the university.

To help teachers improve their English and teaching methods, Smith set up an English corner at her apartment, making use of her spare time to teach the teachers.

Teachers were afraid of losing face in her training class at first, Li recalled. "However, she spoke slowly and always encouraged us," said Li, adding that Smith's patience and encouragement inspired her to attend the English corner for 16 years.

As teachers had no idea about "student-centered teaching," spoon-feeding education was prevalent in the classes. "Students often got sleepy, and they often gave the same answer to every question," Li said.

Noticing these problems, Smith taught teachers to guide students to participate in the class and learn to think independently.

"It's a real revolution in teaching," Li said.

With the help of Smith, Li has now become one of the most popular English teachers in the university.

Apart from her own work, Smith also cares about children in rural areas.

"They didn't have heaters or even toothbrushes and sometimes had to attend classes with empty stomachs," Smith said.

She often visits village schools, together with other foreign teachers, reading stories to the children and teaching them to brush their teeth.

She also launched fund-raising activities at the campus and raised money to purchase books for schools in poverty-stricken areas.

"When I saw books sent to them become dirty and dog-eared, I was so happy. They got very excited each time we came. I really hope these lovely and innocent children could enjoy learning like this for their whole life," Smith said.

The 52-year-old said she saw the improvements in education that the Chinese government has achieved over the past years, with more new schoolhouses, free meals and good teachers in the western regions.

In 2014, Smith received the Friendship Award, given annually by the Chinese government to honor outstanding foreign experts in China, but Smith only said she did what she should do as an ordinary person.

Smith hopes to postpone her retirement until 70, devoting herself and her time and energy to English language teaching in the region.

新华网原文链接:http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-09/25/c_138422457.htm

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