Zhang Zhuxia became vice principal at the school in December 2011. On seeing the children at the school greeting her with sign language on her first day, she was deeply touched. She decided at that time to give them the best help she could offer.
She set a good example for other teachers by practicing what she preached.
She mended the clothes for a physically impaired student, for example, and took her students home if any of their parents failed to take them home on time after class.
"Hearing-impaired and mentally impaired children are generally neglected by society. Their parents nonetheless have great expectations for them," said Zhang, adding that these children need more help.
In 2015, Zhang began to act as advisor for a class of students with autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Jiejie, an introverted boy afflicted with development problems, was one of them.
Zhang took extra care over him. In class, she encouraged him to answer questions. After class, she called on other children to play with him and brought him snacks. In short, she regarded him as her own kid.
Her efforts paid off. The boy learnt to play with other children on his own initiative. "His progress gratified both his parents and me," said Zhang happily.
In 2015, the special education school started to teach severely physically impaired children at home in response to the call of the Communist Party of China and the government in an endeavor to better help vulnerable groups.
Zhang, along with other teachers, took the initiative to impart knowledge about recovery and general education of severely physically impaired children in the countryside at weekends. Thanks to their efforts, nearly 100 children have realized their dream of receiving education.
To facilitate communication with children with mental difficulties, figure out what they are thinking and come up with more effective ways to improve their learning, Zhang even made it a rule to watch cartoons and TV programs for children every day.
"My students' smiles are brighter than sunlight," said Zhang, adding that she would do her utmost to guide them toward happiness.
(Source: Women Voice/Translated and edited by Women of China)