Zhang Jufang: Only with true love can I touch children
Zhang Jufang reads with children in Xuyi county, Jiangsu province. [Photo/ourjiangsu.com]
Zhang Jufang, principal of a kindergarten in a remote mountainous area of Xuyi county, was recently honored by the Jiangsu provincial government as one of "The Best Teachers of 2020", local media outlets reported.
"I think only with true love can I move and teach children," Zhang said.
When Zhang graduated with a degree in preschool education from a teacher's school in 1995, she refused an invitation to host children's TV shows but to return to her hometown and work as a kindergarten teacher.
"I grew up in rural areas and I knew that children in these areas are in desperate need of love and care, especially leftover children," Zhang said. "I just wanted to share my love with them."
Zhang has been acting on her words for over 20 years. She treated leftover children as her own, helping them wash their heads and hands and trim their nails.
Zhang said her heart was once deeply touched by a boy whose parents had divorced and who lived in difficulty with his grandmother. The boy asked "Ms Zhang, you are so much like my mother, can I call you Mother Zhang?" She answered "Yes" with tears in her eyes.
The principal has also been dedicated to enriching children's kindergarten experiences. To achieve this, she has worked with teachers to open crayfish restaurants, tea houses, bakeries, and hair salons.
"Ms Zhang is not only the principal, but a teacher of teachers," said Yu Changrong, a teacher at her kindergarten.
Zhang Jufang plays with children at her kindergarten. [Photo/ourjiangsu.com]