In August,2012, I began working at the Beichen Branch of Tianjin Radio and Television University(RTVU), and began a new journey working as a teacher. Five years passed in an instant, the work in the branch not only brought me many honours. Most importantly, it enriched my life by helping me learn to love life more, and live a happier life.
On my first day of work, I saw that RTVU teachers were kept very busy. It happened to be enrollment time, as well as time to check lists of students who needed to make up exams. The teachers in the office received a seemingly endless number of calls, and QQ messages constantly flashed across their computer screens. Such a busy atmosphere I had never seen before in my previous work. I also started my own busy work that very day. While answering calls, I carefully recorded information regarding each student. At the same time, I secretly decided that, from registration to graduation, I would pay close attention to and guide students, as well as accept their requests for consultation, at anytime and anywhere. These have become my mottos during enrolment.
I was full of energy in the face of new work. I didn’t know what tiredness was in those days, and never got bored with my work. Whenever there was a phone call or QQ message, I would always be ready to answer them. I became a class teacher of the fall 2012 Administrative Management junior college class during my first year of work, and managed the class of 65 students through a QQ group. In order to establish a harmonious atmosphere for the class, I designed a unique sodality for the freshmen, and actively communicated with students in the QQ group. Friendly words and timely responses to their messages earned my students’ participation. Students immediately volunteered for activity roles, such as that of MC, or giving speeches. I also designed a link for taking an oath with signature, which amazed students with the magic of the Internet, when they saw a student on a business trip in Shanghai connecting live online to make a vow. The students all said that they hadn’t expected the feeling of being in a real college. But, with such a positive learning atmosphere formed during the class, they said they experienced just such an environment.
In my new working environment, I also met good leaders. When school leaders realized my enthusiasm in work, as well as my work philosophy, they established a student service centre to study all kinds of learning guidance files in order to rescue left-behind students, including providing services that addressed all kinds of difficult problems.
During the first two and a half years, I chatted with my students on QQ using my mobile phone every night, which won silent support from my family. My daughter once said, “My mother has just begun her work in the RTVU, and I should not add any trouble for her. I will let her concentrate on her work.”
During my second semester on the job, the school added both a large and a small class to my schedule. I was still able to cope with student consultations in QQ. However, when another Rural Administrative Management Class with 111 students was assigned to me during my third semester, I suddenly felt tired, with my eyes always uncomfortable, and a tense neck.
How could I meet work quality expectations, working efficiently and scientifically? Many students worked during the day, and they only had time to communicate with teachers at night. However, teachers worked a whole day, and at night they were supposed to rest to ensure they were energetic at work the next day. So, if teachers could predict the questions students would ask, and prepare an answer sheet with all kinds of questions and answers on it, share it in the QQ group, and send out announcements in the QQ group to remind students to read, they wouldn’t have to focus on the QQ group at night.
When I first began working at the RTVU, I designed A Study Guideline for the Class for the Semester, A Study Guide for Common Course Learning, and A Study Guide for Integrated Courses of Open Classes. I would log on to relevant websites every day to capture pictures, and look for texts I could edit into text, video, and voice documents for students to refer to. I uploaded finished files into the QQ group file folder, and reminded all students (via the SMS communication system) to download and follow the charts and diagrams. Among 65 students, excepting a few seniors who didn’t always use computers, but instead came to the school to ask me for instruction, all of my other students could teach themselves by following the instructions. I remember that, in the beginning, I still received many calls. While answering the calls, I always said, “Dear students, please give me some understanding. Don’t ask questions first. If each of the 65 students calls me, I will not be able to lecture. Before you ask questions, please carefully read the files I have uploaded. You will need to calm down, and have some patience. All of the questions you want to ask, including the words I want to say to you, are already in the answer sheet. If you can understand them, please follow the instructions. If you don’t understand at first, please read them again. If you still can’t figure it out, then come to me for help.” I spent 15 hours finishing the course study guide, which rewarded me over the course of two months by not having to explain word by word to each of my students. I just saved the file in the QQ group, and reminded students to download it and study. Soon, all 65 of my students finished their work smoothly. Later, I extended this practice to the courses I teach. I also made relevant videos for other courses I taught, so that my students who couldn’t come to study at the school during the day could still learn at home at night
Scientific management and a perfected system helped avoid the interruption of information transmission to students. What was more important was the supervision of guiding teachers, an important part of the communication between teachers and students. Send a kind reminder to students, and they will be mobilised. My students would always say, “Although you have to attend to so many students, you still find time to address my problems. You really taught in a very considerate and careful manner.”
In the QQ group management and study supervision, for those students who actively completed all kinds of learning activities, I would commend them in the form of big, red certificates in the QQ group announcement column. Some students said that they had never been praised since they had begun working. “You are so kind and good to us,” they stated. For those students with heavy family burdens or work, I tried not to blame them. Instead, I would treat them with care, greetings, and reminders. Even with students I didn’t know, I would also patiently answer their questions.
To summarise my work philosophy as a guiding teacher at the RTVU: At the beginning of each semester, I prepare a study guide, including a timetable, introduction to the course’s learning methods, matters needing attention throughout the semester, milestone events, and so on. Examination results will be announced in the QQ group, and the names of students needing make-up exams, along with their corresponding courses, will be marked in red. In the middle of the semester, I announce study guidelines for different courses. With achievements that can be exported through the platform, at least twice before mid-terms I issue group announcements to compliment students with good performance. During the mid- and late-term stages of each semester, I call students falling behind to communicate with them regarding their studies. At the end of a semester, a reminder is sent to students to remind them to review and prepare for their exam.
As a guiding teacher, I had a comprehensive class database which contained every piece of work done by students since they had been admitted to the school. I would improve the database, and regularly supplement information until their graduation. Every time I see my students graduate successfully, I am filled with pride and joy, because it reflects the values of an RTVU guiding teacher.
By Tianjin RTVU