It is hard to be working in a school where most of the students and co-workers do not speak the same language. It is hard to get to know them, understand them and help where possible. It is harder when one dies.
I didn’t know Ms. Leung but worked with her for the first five years in Hong Kong. She felt uncomfortable speaking English. It was hard to get to know each other, but I knew she cared for her students and they cared for her. She usually had harder classes with students from broken homes or other issues. Her lessons were loud but mostly trying to keep the kids in line, on task and improving.
In my 6th year, she disappeared and thought she had taken another job somewhere else. I later to learned she had cancer. She came back for the graduation ceremony, and the students welcomed her back with tears. The cancer was gone. She tried to come back to teach but couldn’t do it. It came back.
The funeral is on Friday. I found out through a friend and former colleague. At the school now, no one taught with her since most of the teachers have left. I am in contact with some of her former students but not daily contact. I’m not sure if I should let them know because the students don’t speak English well and may not understand. They may not even remember her.
In the end, I will post something in WeChat and hope the other students will know and understand.