For more than 18 years, Lin Xiang Ding has worked to improve the lives of young people at the Mei Wah School. As lead teacher and parent coordinator of The Chinese Methodist Center Corporation (CMCC)’s afterschool program, she brings energy, dedication, and intelligence to a community in critical need of support.
Ms. Ding brought international experience in early childhood education from China, where she graduated from Guang Zhou Teacher’s College in 1956 with a degree in early childhood education and worked with young people for 29 years. At Mei Wah, she is highly regarded as an excellent communicator, a gifted educator, and a skilled cultural ambassador. To build connections between teachers, afterschool staff, and students, Ms. Ding organizes performances highlighting the cultures from which her students come.
A real motivator, Ms. Ding motivates her students through clear belief in their abilities, creation of a safe space for learning, and leading by hardworking example. Her work with young people is based on a mutual respect that begets an extraordinary connection between educator and student, and between students’ learning and their lives.
Angel Zhang, now in the sixth grade, explains how Ms. Ding gets young people invested in their own educations. “I personally am not a great student and most likely not an easy person to teach. Ms. Ding makes school interesting so that you are learning without realizing you are.”
Teachers, parents, and students alike echo Angel’s words, citing her ability to engage even hard-to-reach children, to make learning both fun and accessible, and above all to motivate young people to fulfill their great potential. As she often says, “Each time one of my students succeeds, it’s my victory as well.”