Student Gives Back To Former School

Call it a lesson in being “a power for good.” Aside from his own busy academic schedule as a junior, Chad Zhao ’22 has returned to teach at YingJiaMei, his former English school in China that he attended when he was younger.

Zhao felt the need to help since schools like this one are understaffed due to the pandemic. He is grateful for the education he received there, especially its culture-based approach in teaching English.

“I went to this school for four years, and it really helped me adjust to high school life in the U.S.,” he said. “To my surprise, after I reached out, the head teacher did not just offer me the job but also gave me the freedom to design my own lectures.”

While those lessons sometimes include playing games and watching funny videos, Zhao also enjoys the serious side of sharing his knowledge with the children who range in age from 8 to 12 years old.

“To prepare for a class, I usually decide on a topic, then build the English-teaching on top of that topic,” he said. “And the topics I choose are usually the ones that are often neglected in Chinese schools, like racism and environmental protection, so I guess it is also rewarding to know that I am making an impact on the community.”

Masters Faculty Advisor Courtney White was thrilled to learn that Zhao took advantage of this opportunity to give back. 

“I could tell he really enjoyed the process of teaching, especially creating interesting assignments that would bring about greater curiosity and joy to learning,” she said. “There is no doubt that Chad was an important and memorable role model in these children’s lives.”

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