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Opening Ceremony Speech for MA Students of 2019 by Dean and Professor Tao Wenhao

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                                To be a Person to Love and a Person to Know

Tao Wenhao

1st September, 2019

 

Dear students, faculty members, ladies and gentlemen,

Good morning!

We are here today to witness one of the most significant moments in your life. First of all, congratulations to you all and welcome to this campus, which is acclaimed as the most beautiful valley campus in Asia. My dear students, I know you are from 22 provinces of the country, some as far as Heilongjiang and Inner Mongolia. I am sure you will soon fit into the big family of the School of Foreign Languages and Literature and embark on an extraordinary academic journey here at BNUZ.

 

Back in 2012, the first cohort of 20 postgraduates in English Teaching were enrolled to study at BNUZ. Up to now, 6 cohorts of about 150 students have graduated. Most of them work in high schools as English teachers. Some of them have joined the core team of excellent teachers in their high schools; others have pursued a PhD and now work at universities. For you, with the better platform of the School of Foreign Languages and Literature of BNU, you will certainly make even greater achievements both in academics and profession. And in the two years during your stay here, we will be delighted to witness your growth from a first year postgraduate to a confident would-be teacher ready to make contributions to foreign language teaching in China.

 

As an alumnus of the SFLL, I would like to share with you how to make the best of your postgraduate studies and pave the way for your future career as an outstanding teacher or educator.

 

First, truly love teaching and your students.

 

Think about a question, “Why do you want to be a teacher?” Some of you might say, because a teacher is entitled to two long vacations. Others might say, because it is an increasingly well-paid job to be a teacher. It is true that all of us have to think about our livelihood, but if you just perceive teaching as a means for survival, I am afraid you will miss out on the opportunity to become a great teacher or educator. After all, life goes beyond enjoying long holidays and getting a decent pay. So I hope you can love teaching from within and regard it as your life long commitment.

 

Just as you love teaching from within, I hope you will truly love your students. In fact, when I interviewed applicants for a teaching position in the School of Foreign Languages, I would ask a question, “What do you think is the most important element for a teacher?” Some answered, “Adequate knowledge”; others mentioned “teaching skills”. But few gave an answer I expected to hear, which is, “love”. As a saying goes, “Students don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Indeed, students are fully aware who really cares about them. I believe “love” is of paramount importance. If you don’t want to be a mediocre teacher, please love your students and care about them.

 

Secondly, stay hungry for knowledge.

 

Socrates observed, “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” The more you learn, the less you think you know. Before knowledge, we are all humble, so I hope you will always stay hungry for knowledge. When you “empty yourself”, and get ready to learn, you can actually acquire beyond what you expect.  

 

You might then ask, “What should I learn?”To stay hungry for knowledge means that you don’t merely confine yourself to a narrow field of study, but step out of your comfort zone and explore as much as you can. It could be anything new that intrigues you, language, literature, culture, translation, even science and technology. When you immerse yourself in knowledge, particularly in the mind of research, you will be happier and have a stronger sense of fulfillment. Upon your graduation 2 years later, you might exclaim, “Luckily, I haven’t let the two years slip by idly.”

 

All in all, keep the two key words in mind--“love” and “knowledge”. We hope you are a person to love, to be loved and in love, a person to know and to be well-known.

 

Thank you!

下一篇:Poets Matsuo Basho and Du Fu 上一篇:The Opening Ceremony for MA Students of 2019 Was Held Grandly


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