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Testing times for teachers too

THIS year was the first time Zhou Lili, a local high school teacher, had helped prepare senior students sitting their college entrance examination.

She had risen up early over the past three days to get to the test center an hour before the start of the exam and waited outside with parents to encourage her students.

"I was so nervous at the end of exams," she said. "I wanted to see happy and relaxed expressions on the students' faces as they step out of the test center each time."

But on Sunday afternoon, after the difficult math exams, many students were in low spirits, some girls were crying and some boys were even cursing.

"I was worried that the bad mood would influence their following tests," Zhou said. "I told them that if they had failed to answer the extremely difficult questions, others would have too."

Zhou comforted and encouraged her students and called parents later that afternoon to learn about those she hadn't seen and ask again about those who had been in a particularly bad mood.

Senior-grade class teachers are also under great pressure because of the exam. Both parents and schools have high expectations of those who sit the national college entrance examination.

Zhou has tried to instill a positive mental attitude in her students throughout the year by encouraging them with a range of activities in class.

She gave them a psychological quiz, a popular game among students, to rectify bad habits and played Kung Fu Panda, an animated movie, in class to encourage them.

"I feel that the movie is so touching so I played it for my students," she said.

"I had confidence in you for no reason just as Master had such blind faith in the clumsy and self-abased panda in the movie," she told her students.

Zhou's style of teaching earned her a lot of respect.

As a class teacher, Zhou usually arrived at school at 7am and leaves about 5:30pm every day to preside over morning exercise and other daily routines.

"Non-class teachers have more free time, as they can come late and leave early according to their curriculum.

"But class teachers must always be there."


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