Medical educators, online instructors honored during Teachers' Day.
Medical school instructors who helped Wuhan fight the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as teachers who dedicated themselves to online learning during the pandemic, were honored as the city celebrated the 36th Teachers’ Day, which falls on Thursday this year.
As many as 1,649 medics from Shanghai rushed to Wuhan in nine teams after the pandemic broke out.
“We are doctors, but we are also teachers,” said Chen Erzhen, deputy president of Ruijin Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine and leader of the third Shanghai medical team sent to Wuhan, during an event on Wednesday celebrating the festival for teachers.
“People say both doctors and teachers are the conscience of a society. I hope that we are also the hope of the society,” he added. “We hope our labor and sweat will be seeds for a better future for the whole country.”
Fan Min, professor at Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and a doctor at Yueyang Hospital of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine, shared his personal story of 44 days at the Leishenshan makeshift hospital in Wuhan, and how he and his peers applied integrated Chinese and Western medicine to treat COVID-19 patients at the hospital.
Fan also fought SARS at Xiaotangshan Hospital in Beijing in 2003.
“When fighting the virus on the frontline, we also delivered a special lesson to our students via the Internet,” he said. “They learnt not only advanced medicine, but also the noble mission of medics and the glory of human nature. Teachers cultivate souls and doctors save lives. Both are sacred causes. Fighting the pandemic is a temporary mission, but teaching and saving life are life-long.”
Tan Yibin, deputy director of the Shanghai Education Commission’s teaching research office, said more than 1,300 educators and experts participated in producing over 5,000 online classes in five months when more than 1.4 million students were stuck at home.
“To reduce risk of cross-infection on public transportation, some teachers offered to drive their colleagues to studios to record the lessons. Many stores were closed, so teachers needed to design and make materials by themselves; our teachers needed to work more than 10 hours a day as they had to prepare the lesson at night and do the recordings during the day,” said Tan. “The online classes of the largest ever scale in the city were the result of efforts from all the teachers with love and sense of mission.”
Besides those fighting the pandemic, stories of teachers who assisted the development of impoverished areas were also shared at the event.
Qiu Yiping, former dean of the Donghua University College of Textiles, has been organizing teachers and students to visit the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in summer vacation every year to do research on local textile companies and help them with upgrading textile technologies since 2011. More than 600 students and over 100 teachers from 15 textile colleges have participated in the program. Having visited some 400 enterprises, they provided technical guidance to over 20 and trained 20,400 employees.
Wu Xiaoyun has been a head teacher for Tibetan students studying education at Gongkang High School in Shanghai for more than 20 years. She teaches them lessons but also takes care of them as their parents are back at home. Her contribution won respect from students and they all call her “mother.” Many of her students have returned to Tibet and work in important positions to alleviate poverty there.
At the end of the event, Wen Yumei, a professor at Fudan University and a model educator in Shanghai, led a group of new teachers to swear loyalty to the cause of education. A chorus of presidents from local colleges made their debut and sang “Stay True to the Mission.”