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Spinal injury doesn't slow Hunan teacher

Source: chinadaily.com.cn Updated: 2018-07-23

Wu Caiyou insists on standing at the podium in his classroom with the help of crutches to teach children at Dasheng Central Primary School. [Photo by Fang Shaohua and Tang Junfeng/chinadaily.com.cn]

A disabling injury sustained when he fell from a school roof two decades ago hasn't slowed down Wu Caiyou, a teacher from a rural area in Dongan county, Central China's Hunan province.

Wu insists on standing at the podium in his classroom with the help of crutches to teach children at Dasheng Central Primary School.

“I have never given in. What I am doing now, when I stand on the podium, is to prove that I am not disabled, that I am not inferior to others. I can gain the understanding of my students and their parents, and teaching makes me feel I am still valuable,” Wu said.

Wu Caiyou insists on standing at the podium in his classroom with the help of crutches to teach children at Dasheng Central Primary School. [Photo by Fang Shaohua and Tang Junfeng/chinadaily.com.cn]

He started teaching at the primary school, which is in a remote and poor mountainous area, 27 years ago. In 2000, Wu climbed a ladder to patch a leaky classroom roof and fell, resulting in a compression fracture of his spinal cord and a permanent disability.

For convenience, Wu lives next door to the school, and has taught more than 500 students during his teaching career.

Wu taught fourth graders Chinese, as well as art and science this past year, because of the shortage of teachers in the countryside.

Wu Caiyou insists on standing at the podium in his classroom with the help of crutches to teach children at Dasheng Central Primary School. [Photo by Fang Shaohua and Tang Junfeng/chinadaily.com.cn]

In addition to his teaching tasks, Wu enjoys reading and publishing articles about teaching in newspapers and magazines.

He has received many awards, such as The Most Lovable Rural Teacher in Hunan Province in 2013, National Excellent Teacher in 2014 and The Ninth Batch Of Special-Grade Teachers in Hunan Province in 2015, among others.

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