WorldTeach volunteer Lisa Shen recently asked her Chinese students what life means to them. Check out Lisa’s great story and the responses from her students who are quickly learning the English language!


Recently, my school changed all the Junior 3 classes around in preparation for the 中考 (Zhongkao, otherwise known as the test that decides where you will go to high school). About 150 students decided to forgo the test and stay at CFLS for their high school education. The rest of the grade had to buckle down and start studying even more. The students that decided to stay were placed in 3 classes called Helicopter classes, where they will begin studying Senior 1 material. I was told I will be teaching the 3 Helicopter classes and two of my former Junior 3 classes. Unfortunately, for all 5 of these classes, there was a mix of the students I taught all year and Dan’s students that I had never seen before.


life middle school


Being a new class, I really had no idea what to do with the Helicopter classes. I didn’t have to give them grades and I didn’t know half of the students. This week, however, I decided to do something a little less structured and had a class discussion about Life. Of course, with the help of another WorldTeacher, Tina, I led the discussion with questions and had the students write in their notebooks to answer the question to keep it a little structured. As a closing activity, I asked them to think and finish the sentence “Life is…why?” They were not allowed to say things like ‘interesting’, ‘boring’, ‘exciting’ and ‘no why’. I told them if I hear those words, I will throw them out the 5 story window. Though completely unrealistic, the students still laughed and agreed to my terms.


I collected the papers and read through each of their answers. I got a lot of “Life is a movie”, “Life is colorful”, “Life is like candy” and other such answers. However, I chose some pretty funny, thoughtful or – ahem – interesting answers to post on here. A little glimpse into the thoughts of 14 year-old Chinese students on life:


Life is monster! Because I think it’s so scary!!! – Amber

Life is home to school. School come back home. Every must go to school. – Addison

Life is a very big and uneasy Palace because it is beautiful and you don’t know which way is the best way to your dream room. – Eva

Life is like angry bird because some pigs always laugh at me. – Kevin

Life is a rose flower because life is beautiful and sometimes it makes me hurt. – Tom

I think life is an educational book because I can learn something from it. – Benz

Life is a flower. All the time you can feel it is beautiful, but in the end all the flowers will die. – Snow

Life is a long trip. I can discover the real me. I can get a lot of experience and I can see many wonderful views though there’re many difficulties in the road. On the other hand, life is a risk. – Angela

Life is black and dark because I don’t have love and money to light my life. – Daniel

Life is like a bitter coffee. Although at first it isn’t taste very good, it will be pure and aromatic at last. – Bradley

Life is a bus and have some people and lose some people. – Keley

Life is a orange. When you choose a good one you will feel sweet, but when you choose a bad one you will feel unhappy. – Ashley

Life is a story that was written by yourself. There are so many events and you enjoy every moment. You do everything you like. Just follow your heart. – Zoe

Life is a dream to me. It’s fresh and funny. I love my life and enjoy it! – Yuki

Life is world peace! Happy Every Day! United Nations Security Council UNSC – Jerry

What is life to you?


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