Blind Teacher Spreads Light to Illuminate Children's Hearts

March 2, 2020
By Lü ShenEditor: Wei Xuanyi

Liu Fang, a teacher at Baiyun District No. 3 Middle School, in Guiyang, capital of Southwest China's Guizhou Province, has been dubbed "Helen Keller in China's mountains." Although she is blind, she dispels the darkness in her eyes with the light in the heart, and she spreads that light to illuminate the children's hearts.

Liu, born in 1971, began teaching the Chinese language at the school in 1993. She is one of the most popular teachers with the students. In 1997, she was diagnosed with pigmentary degeneration of the retina, in both of her eyes.

At first, she felt grief. But then, she was determined to ignore all of her negative thoughts — and to live a normal life. "Nobody is perfect. People must be brave enough to accept their imperfections, and they should create the value of their own lives … I must face the reality. I'd rather have a strong heart and live an optimistic life than complain about fate," Liu says.

Before she went blind, in 2007, she had recited all of the classic Chinese articles and poems, in the Chinese textbooks from Grade 1 to Grade 3, and she remembered all of the important parts in the textbooks . "My eyes were not good, so I had to make my classes more vivid and more interesting to attract my students," she says. Her students loved to attend her classes.

She chose to continue to work after she went blind. "Quitting my job would literally put an end to my life," she says. In 2007, she began providing psychological counseling to students, and she began educating students on moral norms at the school. At that time, her office was named Fangfang Chat Room. Many of the students chat with her when they encounter various difficulties in their lives. "I always stick to one principle, listening with my heart," Liu says.

In 2012, she gave lectures, titled Listening with the Heart, in different areas in the province. Her strong will, humorous words and inspirational experiences touched the hearts of numerous people.

Her office was renamed Liu Fang Workshop in 2015. Liu cooperated with FM 94.6, of Guizhou Radio and Television Station, to launch a WeChat (a popular Chinese messaging, and social media app) account focused on people's psychological health. The account has thousands of followers. Liu replies to them when they leave messages for her.

Liu became president of the Blind Persons' Federation of Guizhou Disabled Persons' Federation in September 2018. On each White Cane Safety Day, which falls on October 15, she invites blind people, and caring people who have been dedicated to helping the blind, to share their stories to encourage blind people to regain confidence in their lives. "It is worthwhile spreading the light to more people," she says.


(Women of China)

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