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Melissa Liu

University of Michigan

English Teacher

What do you enjoy most about your work?

I love interacting with my students, learning to understand them and seeing them enjoy their learning. Every class and every student is unique, and I really enjoy seeing the different dynamics personalities bring to the classroom. It is an amazing privilege being able to work directly with kids and I am passionate about learning how to steward this teaching platform. It is really rewarding seeing how God has given me this opportunity to make an impact on my students.

What is a challenge or difficulty you face at work?

Working with children of all ages has its own set of challenges as every student has different personalities and characteristics. Every student learns differently and is unique, and this really pushes me to do the best I can as their teacher and adapt to their needs. There are definitely challenging and stretching times of managing students, and it can be emotionally and physically taxing. These situations challenges me to learn to love my students out of Christ’s love, to grow more in patience and understanding and to also pray for them.

How do you see that the Gospel is or could be transforming your workplace?

Hong Kong is a very competitive city, especially when it comes to education. The students I teach range in ages, but some parents idolize their children’s academics at a really early age or school learning environments are intense, leading to a lot of unnecessary stress and pressure on kids. This can lead to more repercussions and long term effects that impact mental health and livelihood of kids or young adults. It’s burdening seeing my students live with stress and pressure from their academics. I see childhood as a time to be free and joyous, and a time to experience moments that cannot be later in life. The Gospel defines my students as children of God with an eternal purpose, and can transform this perspective of being defined by their academics and success. Jesus offers my students and their families eternal hope and ultimate satisfaction, rather than hope and fulfillment in what is temporary.

What is one piece of advice you would give to those that will enter the workplace in the future?

Work is a form of worship to God, and despite how much you enjoy your work or how challenging it may be, God has a purpose for you being in that particular work place. In times of difficulty, it’s important to pray for a godly perspective and to depend on Him. The workplace is also your mission field and it’s important to be a good witness through your faithfulness, work ethic, and values. Put yourself out there, build rapport with colleagues and take up the invitation when it is there. When people in the workplace open their doors, God can open greater doors to make His name known.