From China to America

From China to America

By: Vivian Rubio

Mr. De He was born in China and is the Chinese teacher here at Snow Canyon High School, this is his second-year teaching at Snow Canyon, his first year being in 2016. He also taught at Lava Ridge Intermediate, but he really enjoyed teaching high school students more than intermediate students because their classrooms are better to manage.

Mr. He really enjoys teaching Chinese, he said, “I enjoy preparing lessons and to share what I know [with students] so we can learn together.” He hopes students will learn not only the language but also the culture behind it as well, and to know that there are more places for students to go. When students want to learn more about Chinese culture, it makes him very happy to know that his students are learning or engaging in his class.

He learned that it is okay for students to lead discussions in class, and he has seen that the education systems in the U.S. and China are very different. In China, students weren’t allowed to talk in class, and they had to listen to the teacher’s instructions all the time. And in the U.S. students could talk and Mr. He has helped them learn by letting them teach the class as well.

Outside of school, his hobbies used to be playing basketball and hiking, but since he has two little children, all his time goes to his children. He is also very close with his family, he said, “We try to stay together like a family, like cooking, or going on a walk, or playing with toys.” He is grateful for all the opportunities his parents gave him and all the things he can learn here in the U.S. as well. Five words he used to describe himself would be a teacher, a cook, outgoing, explorer, and family oriented.

(Editor’s note: After Vivian’s original story was written a terrible incident occurred near Bryce Canyon National Park which resulted in some very selfless acts by Mr. He De, additional coverage of that incident is found below.)

 Bryce Canyon Incident

Additional reporting by: Jackie Neil

September 20, 2019 a tourist bus crashed in Bryce Canyon National Park, four Chinese tourists were killed and over a dozen were critically injured.  Many people were hospitalized and couldn’t return home until they were healed.  Many lost belongings including passports, clothing, etc.  Enter Mr. He De.

Mr. He De is our current Chinese teacher, he is not only a great teacher but an even more amazing person.  After this tragedy, he volunteered all his free time after school to go help the hospitalized. He donated clothes and food to them and had all his classes write meaningful notes to them as well. 

Mr. He De would help the doctors communicate to the Chinese people who didn’t know English and he made a big impact on the whole situation. He De said “this was a big tragedy, but it brought the community together and built a connection with the patients.”

Mr. He De was the one who reached out to other Chinese teachers and organized all the voluntary work. The volunteers would be transportation for the Chinese people and take them to hospitals, hotels, grocery stores, etc. The whole community contributed to the situation and it helped so much.  It showed many people including Mr. He De how much people can be brought together through tragedy.