Ecns wire

David Tidswell: Int'l school 'majordomo' in Shanghai

2022-05-20 Editor : Mo Hong'e ECNS App Download

By GAO Zhimiao

(ECNS)SHANGHAI -- David Tidswell wakes up at 6:30 a.m. every day. Then, the deputy principal of an international school located in Shanghai’s Putuo District, begins to check messages, attend online meetings, conduct research, arrange logistical support, and ensure that the foreign teachers that currently work from home have sufficient supplies, among other things.

At 11:30 p.m. after finishing a day’s busy work, the deputy principal will also discuss ways to make improvements in teaching with the school's foreign teachers. Tidswell, who stays at the campus as it goes under closed management, said he has become even “busier” than usual.

“As guardians of the campus, we have maintained a positive attitude in protecting the school from the virus. Having a strong sense of purpose is essential for teachers during normal times anyway but it is vital for crisis situations like we find ourselves in now,” Tidswell told ECNS in an exclusive interview.

David Tidswell (first from the right) is in the school cafeteria. (Photo/China News Service)

Since Shanghai introduced online learning on March 12, Tidswell has stayed at the campus with his fellow colleagues, offering logistical support for nearly 200 teachers and students who have remained there. Their special work includes helping with nucleic acid testing and antigen detection, carrying out disinfection and maintaining order.

Tidswell also serves as a “majordomo” for the school’s 27 foreign teachers. With the support of the school's principal office, he also offers help to foreign teachers who have come across problems, and orders food for those in need, following the example of his fellow Chinese principals. Many of the foreign teachers, in their turn, have also got involved in volunteering in their communities.

“All of our teachers are united in aiming to help wherever they can. Some have been allowed to contribute and it’s great to see foreign as well as Chinese staff supporting the effort to get supplies and food to people who need it most,”Tidswell said.

Tidswell often makes the rounds of the school building, dormitory and cafeteria, which gives him peace of mind at a time when the campus is under closed management. He is also involved in the school’s mentoring program, which reaches out to students, guiding their home studies and caring for their lives and mental health.

“We are very concerned about students’ physical and emotional health and our teachers are making sure to be careful with their words, spending extra time before and after class to speak with students and their parents. Our teachers understand that a few kind words can have an enormous effect on a student’s outlook and determination to work harder and smarter,” he said.

Apart from ensuring quality and quantity of teaching during the pandemic prevention and control, another special role for Tidswell is taking care of “logistical support” for the campus.

“I feel quite lucky to be able to spend time in the kitchen with my colleagues and kitchen workers to prepare vegetables, and they taught us the most basic tasks, such as peeling peas. But more importantly, they show us that even simple actions, like sitting down and working together, could create and rebuild our community. That’s a huge accomplishment that comes as a result of teamwork.”

David Tidswell prepares beans with his colleagues (Provided by the interviewee)
David Tidswell prepares beans with his colleagues (Provided by the interviewee)

What has touched Tidswell most since the school went under closed management, he said, is how small he feels he is when he sees through his window the scene of school staff delivering supplies, and doing disinfection and cleaning, “We have all seen the hardships faced by cleaners, guards, delivery drivers and support staff all around Shanghai. They have made huge sacrifices for everyone’s benefit.”

“We are keen to say hello to our students face-to-face, reinforce their learning and help them ‘blossom’ again.” Tidswell said, “I believe that both the school and Shanghai will overcome these temporary setbacks, learn together, and create a better future for all with new ideas and knowledge.”

Related news


Most popular in 24h

MoreTop news


Back to top About Us | Jobs | Contact Us | Privacy Policy
Copyright ©1999-2022 All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
[网上传播视听节目许可证(0106168)] [京ICP证040655号]
[京公网安备 11010202009201号] [京ICP备05004340号-1]