N China teacher devotes herself to special education for 18 years

Updated: Aug 9, 2021 People's Daily Online Print
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"I will try to help my students lead as normal a life as possible," said Zhang Ronghua, a teacher specializing in special education in Lyuliang city, north China's Shanxi province.

For 18 years, Zhang has been committed to offering special educational services for her students whose intelligence or hearing is subpar, or who are unable to take care of themselves.

Zhang began teaching children with disabilities in 2003 after graduating from university with a degree in special education. She recalled that the first difficulty she encountered in her professional life could be attributed to her lack of practical teaching experience.

"My first students were hearing impaired kids. Since many of them had poor pronunciation and they could not understand my sign language, we had difficulty communicating," explained Zhang.

In order to overcome such an intimidating communication barrier, Zhang consulted and learned from more experienced colleagues, spent more time with her students, and finally found a viable solution.

"I found that I could communicate with my students by showing them some videos and pictures and then reproducing the scenarios," Zhang revealed, adding that her students' comprehension skills had also gradually improved through their daily communication practice.

Like the other teachers in her school, every Friday, Zhang offers door-to-door teaching services for students who have difficulty attending school by themselves. From her perspective, she is not just imparting knowledge and teaching rehabilitation skills to the students, but also the right family education methods for the parents.

Zhang was delighted to learn that some of her former students have been enrolled into universities, while others have married and started promising careers. "As a special education teacher, I am very proud to know that my students can stand on their own two feet," said the teacher.

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