IT'S the fifth Teachers' Day for Guo Huiyi, a young math teacher at a primary school in Pingshan District, and the best gift she received this year was the title of "Top 10 Youth Teacher" granted at a citywide commendation gathering to mark the 33rd Teachers' Day over the weekend.
The title is an award granted by the Shenzhen Municipal Education Bureau each year to honor youth teachers who performed exceptionally well over the previous year. Guo, born in 1990, was one of 10 teachers to receive the honor.
Though at a young age, Guo has won many municipal and district-level awards in recognition of the quality of her teaching and the good relationships she develops with her students as well as her fellow teachers. She is now teaching primary math and taking on an administrative role at Jintian Primary School.
At the commendation meeting, Guo and the other nine recognized teachers were presented awards by city leaders, including Party chief Wang Weizhong and Mayor Chen Rugui. Wang made a speech at the assembly, recognizing the teachers' efforts in educating students and urging the education practitioners to continue their hard work and provide quality education in the coming years.
"Receiving this award is a great honor, and I think it's in recognition of my hard work over the past five years," said Guo. The math teacher said she would look ahead and set another goal for the next five years.
Guo also said that she felt honored to stand on the same stage as her teacher, Fang Jing, who was honored as "Teacher of the Year" last month. Fang was Guo's teacher when Guo was attending high school in Longgang District. Guo said her teacher was a huge influence on her becoming a responsible and loving teacher.
Being a teacher means working at full-capacity and answering hundreds of questions every school day. "It is quite hard to be a good teacher, especially when encountering kids during their rebellious phase, but I enjoy teaching and Teachers' Day is the day that I feel the most joyful receiving my students' blessings."
Like Guo, tens of thousands of teachers in Shenzhen were praised and thanked for their countless efforts in educating students. Teachers have been receiving flowers, greeting cards and gifts made by students since Friday, said an English teacher, surnamed Deng, in Bao'an District.
Many stores and shopping malls have also offered special deals for teachers. For instance, Teacher Cafe, founded by a former teacher from Britain, offered free drinks to teachers with valid ID yesterday, and some restaurants around the city also offered discounts for teachers. Theme parks, such as Happy Valley, offered special tickets for teachers too.
Teachers' Day, falling on Sept. 10 every year, has been celebrated nationwide in China since 1985.
A retired teacher who had taught for 30 years said Teachers' Day should be a day to not only recognize the hard work teachers do, but also to remind teachers to continue their efforts, because improving education requires patience, responsibility and many other demanding qualities.