I was born in 1955 to a middle-class family in which education was considered the number one priority! I have an older sister (who teaches children with learning difficulties) and a younger brother who works in a food factory. I have been a teacher since 1978, teaching English, German, Music, Religious Education, Psychology in secondary schools and facilitating Teaching Methodologies with Action Research in Bath University (UK) and Ningxia Teachers University in Guyuan in China. I see education as a process of becoming the best people that we can become in order to create a more just and fair world. I think the way to this better world needs to embrace those values of justice, fairness, equality, love and so on, within the processes themselves. I am currently working from home in Yorkshire (see pictures of my where I live at Pictures Of England.com).
My hobbies include reading (poetry in English, German and Mandarin Chinese, detective fiction); teaching myself to read Mandarin; playing the piano; discussions with friends over a good meal and a bottle of wine; going to the cinema; writing short stories (see some stories about rural China) Historical people I admire include Thomas More (medieval Chancellor of England who defied Henry VIII), Mahamta Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and Rosa Parks. All of those people had the courage to speak out against intolerance and exploitation.
Some of my favourite times are when I influence and witness a person's growth and their delight in that growth. To me that's magic! It's what I'm in education to facilitate. I am hoping that this journal will enable new voices to speak and old voices to speak in new ways.
On the next page is a piece of writing I have done about my five years in China. I include it here in both languages and hope you enjoy it. My English was translated by Zhang Zuotang from Shihezi University in Xinjiang (see A few reflections on my China days)