On Friday, October 9, 2008, about 200 people met to
celebrate Cleveland’s second annual Teachers’ Day event. The event
was hosted by the Confucius Institute at Cleveland State University
(CSU) and held at Epworth-Euclid United Methodist Church in
University Circle. The event opened with greetings and remarks from
Dr. Lih-Ching Chen Wang, Director of the Confucius Institute, and
was hosted by Dr. James McLoughlin, Dean of the College of Education
and Human Services at CSU. Dr. Wang observed that the philosophy
of Confucius has been influencing education for more than 2,500
years. Even today, educators continue to admire and apply many of
his ideas. Confucius would tell us that just as planting a cherry
tree today will result in blossoms in years to come; educating a
child today will lead to excellent performance in later years. In
Chinese, one would say 十年樹木,百年樹人;十年樹木,百年樹人.
In addition, there were five other speakers at the event. Mr.
Anthony Yen, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Confucius
Institute gave a brief history on the origin of Teachers’ Day. Mr.
Yen was followed by Mr. Ratanjit Sondhe, who is a wellness
specialist, author, and TV personality. He spoke on the need for all
of us to work together. Mr. Douglas Heuer, the Superintendent of the
Cleveland Height-University Heights City School District (CH-UH)
gave a brief welcome. This is CH-UH’s first year to have a Chinese
language program. Ms. Luling Li from the Shaker Heights City School
District also gave a brief welcome and spoke of the help that the
Confucius Institute at CSU has provided her in her teaching of
Chinese language and culture. The last speaker of the day was Ms.
Hannah Firestone, a seventh grader, from the Beachwood City School
District. She gave a report on the life of Confucius.
The speeches were followed by a group picture of all participants
and then the group walked to the Cleveland’s Chinese Cultural Garden
to watch the planting of three cherry trees donated by Mr. Yen near
the statue of Confucius, a tradition in celebration of Confucius’s
birthday and his continuing influence on education as well as in
honor of teachers and educators around the world. Many participants
took turns with the shovels. After the tree planting ceremony,
all participants were invited to Li Wah Chinese restaurant where a
delicious lunch was enjoyed by all. Students were able to tour the
Asia plaza after lunch and make purchases in the local Chinese