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Tzu Chi Teacher Association

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Dharma Master Cheng Yen often says, "All the children in the world can be taught. What they need are mindful parents and mindful teachers to guide and teach them." A child's heart and mind is like a field; the teachers are like farmers. When a farmer mindfully cultivates the field, weeds will not grow in the field. Likewise, when a teacher teaches students mindfully, the students' hearts and minds will not go astray.

Tzu Chi Teacher Association consists of a group of caring and benevolent teachers, social educational associations and professionals in study research associations. For the purpose of performing Tzu Chi Humanitarian spirit into teaching activities, purifying campuses (the learning environment) and reaching to a harmonious society, the opening ceremony was held from July 23 to 24 in 1992. It is expected to spread the seeds of beauty and kindness in schools with the wisdom from the Bodhisattva and the love from mothers.

At the gathering, Dharma Master Cheng Yen said to the fourteen hundred teachers present, "Nurturing our country's future generation is like planting a tree. One must carefully water the tree and look after it, so that it may grow tall and lush. Then, it can provide shade from the sun."

Mercy, Compassion, Joy, Giving with Pure Love
Taking Great Vows to Cultivate the Talents
On the base of teaching selves first and then teaching others, teachers in Tzu Chi keep learning good ways and modern concepts in education to communicate with students with love and nurture children’s integrity with gratitude. They take the great responsibility in the education undertaking.

Furthermore, they practice and carry out the spirit of Jing Si Aphorisms in meticulously designed course – Jing Si Aphorisms Teaching. The class is with story telling and role playing, or using pictures to enhance the teaching. Through the lessons, it helps students to build up their characters in life and educate their virtues; for even more to influence the parents positively.

The unique teaching materials and methods inspire children’s love. True stories from Tzu Chi commissioners are touching to students. It leads students to the world of kindness. Students understand and appreciate Tzu Chi Humanitarian spirit deeply from jaunty Jing Si Aphorisms classes.

Master hopes teachers can teach their students the way the Buddha taught his disciples: instilling loving-kindness and compassion and rectifying conduct with gentleness, humbleness, and forbearance. Teachers should teach students to be mindful in everything they do, while at the same time not attached to gains and losses. Teachers should teach with love, guide students with patience, and never give up on any student. In addition to verbal instruction, teachers should also lead students by example. In other words, teachers should not regard their profession as merely the imparting of scholastic knowledge. Instead, teachers should see it as the mission to shape good character and guide students' minds toward wholesomeness.

Once, a high school teacher told Master, “Master, my temper was really awful. I often got mad at students with their behaviors. I hit students for punishment, but got negative effects. After joining Tzu Chi Teacher Association, I read Jing Si Aphorism very often. Thus, I always looked into myself and felt ashamed. I decided to get rid of my bad temper. I became cautious with myself by reminding me what I learned from Jing Si Aphorisms.
There was a naughty student in this teacher’s class. He was reprimanded by the teacher for his inattention in class. He shouldered up and held his fists up, just like he was going to fight. The teacher was so angry that he almost slapped the student. He suddenly thought of the Jing Si Aphorism: "Speak kind words, think good thoughts, and do good deeds." He thus changed his attitude and tapped on the student’s head and said, “Kid, we both need to change our bad habits. I have to change my bad temper and you also have to change your bad habits.” After hearing the gentle words, the student got relaxed and loosed his fists. He said “I’m sorry, teacher.” The opposition disappeared right away.

The concepts and theories in education are changing rapidly. Under the trend of open and diversity thoughts, teachers in Tzu Chi cultivate students with “kindness.”Persisting in cultivating the inner with mercy, compassion, joy, and giving, and acting with honest, integrity, faith, and truth, teachers place importance on ethical beliefs and carry out the spirit of Tzu Chi humanities as the central concept of education to practice the moral education into students’ schooling and life.

Although teachers in Tzu Chi Teacher Association are from different places, backgrounds, with different values, they have their minds in common – to see the children in the world as their own children, and to teach the children with their hearts. They expect to bring Tzu Chi spirit into schools to purify the human hearts and get the society in peace.

Our Mission
To improve the education quality, there are series of activities held by Tzu Chi Teacher Association. Educators are invited to experience the spirit of Tzu Chi. The activities include tea parties, training program of teaching Jing Shi Aphorism, caring for the charity associations, hospital volunteers, demonstrations of Jing Shi Aphorism teaching achievements, publication, overseas cultural and humanity exchange, community education and camp activities.

Teachers are expected to take care of students with the kindness of Bodhisattva and love of mothers. We hope that it is filled with happiness, gratitude, caring, harmony, joy of helping people, demolishing violence and crimes on campus. Tzu Chi Teacher Association promotes Jing Shi Aphorism teaching, caring about nursing houses and homes for the Aged, computer education, school consulting, community services, and exhibitions of arts.

Parents should keep hope in mind to keep company with children with gentle attitudes, to enlighten children with love, listen to them, understand what they think, respect their interests and to communicate with children. To achieve these goals, the association actively promotes the communication between parents and children, teacher-parent symposium and campus volunteers.