By Faculty Fan Luo
This November, Laura Gauld, Malcolm Gauld, Haze Liff, Fan Luo and Lindsey Mischel traveled to China. Other than doing Admission work, Development work, and meeting current and alumni Chinese parents, our team had a special mission, which was to promote the Hyde Biggest Job Parenting Program and Hyde’s unique character education program.
We were fortunate to receive support from Green Bean Publishing house that was founded by one of our Chinese Alumni parents Su Yuan (Jack He’s Mom, class of 2018). She and her team published the Chinese simplified version of the book The Biggest Job We’ll Ever Have: The Hyde School Program for Character-Based Education and Parenting (Scribner 2002) and brought Hyde character education to their readers.
The Hyde team gave six lectures and two two-day workshops in four different cities. In each lecture, between 100 to 300 parents and educators participated. In a short two weeks of time, Hyde character-based education philosophy was able to connect over 2,000 families and educational organizations.
We noticed there is a movement awakening among Chinese parents. At the second US-China Education forum the Hyde team participated in, a well-known psychologist pointed out that over the past 10 years, there has been a significant increase in mental disorders among young people, mostly students who just got into top Universities. Those students were raised under the impression that the main purpose of their life is to get into a top school. Once they got into their dream school, they felt their life no long had any meaning. A group of parents saw what is happening and initiated the movement of demanding a balanced education between achievement and character.
During this trip, the Hyde team was also able to meet a few schools who share the “rebel” spirit of Hyde, letting us know that we are not lonely on the journey of searching for a balanced education between character and achievement.
Overall, it was an inspiring and yet humbling experience for us. We saw thousands of diligent parents and educators in China, who are eager to learn and willing to try. Schools are hosting regular parenting workshops on the weekends and evenings. Parents have support study groups. All the hard work goes into one goal, that is to be the best they can be at their jobs, whether it’s parenting, teaching or administrating.