1. How do you develop a sustained passion for education over a 30-year career?
I love the idea of helping students. In my psychology class I teach about the idea of "generativity," which is the idea of helping to nurture younger people and help create a bright future for them. I wake up in the morning excited to teach and that has been a passion I've maintained for my entire life as a teacher. I think it's fun to watch a student understand a difficult concept or develop passion for a subject that I teach. When I sit down and write lesson plans, I always challenge myself to come up with something fun, interesting and that students will remember. My students know how much I put into my lessons and they care. At one school where I taught, students cried when I left the school and showered me with wonderful cards and every student in 1 of my classes signed a T-shirt that they gave me. It touched me deeply.
2. What plays and books have you written? Which shows have been performed on the stage?
I have been a writer for over 30 years and have won a few awards. I love to write. I've authored or coauthored 4 published books that include: How to Survive the Public School System, Romance Recipes for the Soul, The Politically Incorrect Jokebook and my last book is titled: The People Diet. I've written over 30 movie feature length scripts and had 2 produced as well as stage plays. The movies that were produced are titled: Descansos and 3 Times A Charm. The stage plays I've had produced on stage are An Evening with Mr. Johnson, 51 Steps and Who Took the Last Ketchup, which is a comedy about the world's cheapest man on vacation.
我从事写作已经超过30年了，还获得过一些奖项。我喜欢写作，我已经出版或合著了四本书，包括:《如何在公立学校系统中生存》、《灵魂的浪漫配方》、《政治上不正确的笑话大全》，以及我的最后一本书《人民的饮食》。我也写了30多部电影长度的剧本，并制作了2部舞台剧。制作的电影有:《Descansos3 and Times A Charm》。我曾经在舞台上制作过的舞台剧是《约翰逊先生的一个夜晚》、《51步》和《谁拿走了最后的番茄酱》，这是一部关于世界上最小气的人度假的喜剧。
3. Why did you decide to come to China?
I was the China manager for an SAT company in 2010 and came to China for 6 weeks and really loved it. I came back for 3 months in 2011, and then I was offered a position as a history and English teacher in 2013, and have been here since then. I sold my house in America in 2015, and last year I had all of my things moved to China, which is where I will live after I eventually retire. I decided to come to China because I have had so many positive experiences as a teacher here. I truly enjoy working with the Chinese students and have opportunities to make a difference in their lives. I enjoy working in schools and especially working with young teachers to help them become wonderful teachers.
4. What qualities of China have attracted you and made you live in China for so many years?
My values are very similar to traditional Chinese values of hard work and taking pride in what I do. I'm sad to say that the turbulence in America and many people vilify success, which does not work for me. In China there are numerous opportunities and if you do a good job, people appreciate it. Also in China experience is revered, which is not always the case in the U.S. Older people, (above 50) are respected and their experience is cherished in China, and this is very important to me as I approach my 60th birthday in a 2 weeks.
5. What kind of school do you think MPA is?What have you learned differently about working here?
I have taught at a few schools in China and when I was the SAT director, I visited many schools. MPA is the best school I have worked at. We have freedom to teach a western style of education and are free to employ creative methods in the classroom. I have taught the Cambridge curriculum and it has its merits, but I do prefer the US curriculum because it is less test oriented and gives me the opportunity to teach comprehensive psychology, history and English classes.
Working at MPA, I've been fortunate to work with a great principal in Donald, who is open to any ideas that will help to improve our school. We are currently working on developing a full range of AP courses, which are very popular in China. Working with experienced teachers at our school is a pleasure and each day is a learning experience for me.
6. What happened in MPA that impressed you or touched you very much?
There are many things that have impressed me about MPA. The warmth expressed by students for teachers is really great. Students that I don't even teach give me big smiles and greetings in the morning. The professionalism of the staff is also very good and each of us brings something new, special and exciting to what we do in our classrooms. The facility is also impressive. I taught on a campus of 9,000 students in Chongqing, but the environment did not have the warmth of MPA. We are big enough to have everything we need, but intimate enough to make everyone feel warm and appreciated.
7. Do you have anything you want to say to your students?
Each day I try and set an example of how students should act for my students. I work hard, so I expect them to work hard. I tell students to pursue their dreams regardless of the obstacles that they face. I also believe strongly in always striving to do and be your best. I have a charm that I wear around my neck and it reads, "The Best." This is to remind me that I should always do my best. In my classroom there is a list of quotes from famous people on my wall, and my favorite quote is "Be ashamed to die, until you have won some victory for humanity." It is by famous American educator, Horace Mann. Each day I seek to win victories in my classroom and help students learn how to think and strive to do their best. I'm very blessed to do this job, and I hope I can do it for many more years.
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