Today, September 10th is 教师节 (Teacher’s Day-jiàoshī jié) in China. Here is all you need to know about Teacher’s Day in China!
China legislates for setting up Teacher’s Day on September 10th in 1985. Since then, this day becomes a special day to strenghen the Chinese traditional morality – 尊师重教 (zūnshīzhòngjiào – respect teachers and value education).
Today we would like to take this chance to share something interesting about teachers and education in China.
The first and also the most famous teacher in China
It’s 孔子(kǒngzǐ – Confucius)！
Most people know 孔子 as a famous Chinese philosopher. But actually he is also the earlist educator in China. More than 2000 years ago, 孔子 was the first teacher who started up his own private school and enrolled students widely so that everyone could have an opportunity to receive education regardless of their social class.
孔子 had around 3000 students in all and he took a group of students to travel around China to spread Confucianism for years.
After 孔子 passed away, the students and their students recorded his words and deeds, compiled them into a book called 论语 (Lúnyǔ – The Analects of Confucius), which is one of the most important Confucian classics.
孔子 tried to advocate his political ideas for his whole life, however, his educational thoughts and practices have also been influencing China deelply. 孔子 has gained many titles for his contributions to Chinese culture, one of them is 先师 (xiānshī – unprecedented teacher).
We can often see the statue of Confucius in campuses of China universities.
Chinese idioms about Teachers
In Chinese languge, there are many idioms complimenting teachers. Here we selected two to show you how Chinese people value their teachers.
yí rì wéi shī，zhōng shēn wéi fù
A teacher for one day, is a father all their life.
táolǐ mǎn tiānxià
Wish your students all over the world.
桃 means “peach”, 李 means “plum”. “桃李” is a metaphorical word meaning student. Why is that?
In ancient time, there were a peach tree and a plum tree in a famous teacher’s courtyard. Many students got education under these two trees and changed their life. After graduating, students also planted peach trees and plum trees to appreciate their teacher.
Since then, “桃李” becomes a word to represent students. “桃李满天下” is a commonly used wish to thank teacher’s edification.