Written by Er Guan
Translated by Jiali Liu
Edited by Andrea Barkley
On February 17, 2023, the Tzu Chi USA Central Region Office’s education team was invited to DeSoto High School, located in DeSoto, Texas, to give a one-hour lecture on Tzu Chi humanistic education to more than 100 high school teachers.
This Tzu Chi humanities lecture was a milestone for the Tzu Chi USA Central Region education team. In the past, Tzu Chi mainly presented their humanistic education courses to middle school students in grades 6-8. Now, after 12 years of intensive contribution to the education sector in North Texas, they can present their courses to older students.
DeSoto High School is part of the DeSoto Independent School District. It is classified as a “6A” school by the University Interscholastic League and was even commended by the Texas Department of Education in 2015 for its outstanding school quality.
Over 100 De Soto High School teachers gathered together for the event. Mr. Douglas, former principal of Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy, introduced the Tzu Chi USA Central Region education team to them all.
“Tzu Chi offers not only practical assistance but also warm companionship along the way,” he said. “When I was invited to introduce Tzu Chi at DeSoto High School, I did not hesitate to agree. I know that teachers sometimes struggle to connect with students while teaching. Tzu Chi’s humanistic education will improve relationships between teachers and students.”
Master Cheng Yen often said, “Giving is like sowing seeds; only when they are nourished with joy will they germinate.” The Tzu Chi education volunteer team’s primary objective is to encourage the seeds of love and compassion to germinate and take root in the hearts of more young American students.
The education team will officially begin humanistic education in DeSoto High School in March 2023. As a result, the humanistic education approach advocated by Tzu Chi, which emphasizes gratitude, respect, and kindness, will now reach and benefit more teenagers in North Texas.
At the beginning of the teacher training lecture, Tzu Chi USA Central Region Executive Director Ling Jicheng made the opening speech, saying, “I am grateful for this opportunity to let everyone get to know us. When we were established 57 years ago, there were 30 housewives as members. Now, Tzu Chi has assisted 128 countries. In the recent earthquake in Turkey, Tzu Chi volunteers arrived at the disaster site for disaster investigation and assistance as soon as the fourth day after the disaster.” Ling Jicheng briefly introduced the history of Tzu Chi to the teachers, and Tzu Chi’s charitable activities all over the world, winning warm applause from more than 100 teachers present.
Afterward, Tzu Chi volunteers introduced the humanistic values of Tzu Chi to the teachers in-depth. Then, they played a video about Tzu Chi’s missions, which deeply moved the teachers.
Next, volunteer Mengqi Zhang shared Tzu Chi’s educational programs. She also expressed her gratitude for everyone’s support. Zhang looked forward to using DeSoto High School as a bridge to the hearts of more young students. She said, “Today, we introduce Tzu Chi not to change your religious beliefs. A good moral character has no religious boundaries. The hope of society lies in good character, and the hope for good character development lies in education. To all my teachers seated here, you are the students’ role models. Let’s make good use of your influence!”
After the training session, the principal of DeSoto High School, Mr. Jasen Campbell, expressed his hope that Tzu Chi’s Jing Si Aphorism education would soon be a part of his school’s classrooms.
Where there is compassion, there is a blessing; where there is hope, there is strength. At the end of the event, more than 100 teachers from DeSoto High School took a group photo with the staff of the Tzu Chi USA Central Region education team. Everyone shouted “Tzu Chi” in unison. The picture marked the beginning of Tzu Chi USA Central Region’s education and charity work at DeSoto High School.
Tzu Chi will continue to work hard and looks forward to the adoption of Tzu Chi’s humanistic education teaching plans throughout North Texas. Through faith and hard work, the Tzu Chi humanistic teaching curriculum aims to one day fully integrate into school textbooks, providing students with a foundation of great compassion to guide them throughout their educational careers.