Richmond teacher adjusts to online classes while giving back to community

Posted at 1:20 PM, Apr 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-02 16:38:24-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Kefu Dorion teaches Chinese to several grade levels at St. Catherine's School, an all girl's private school in Richmond.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she is now teaching from home.

"We are doing everything we can just to deliver the message but at the same time we're trying to be very mindful of the student’s health," said Dorion.

Each week, she puts together a series of lessons online that help her students read, write, and enunciate Chinese with her own videos and YouTube links.

"I was amazed at by the amount of work that the teachers have to put into this to make things happen, to train themselves,” said Dorion.

Perhaps what's even more amazing, is how she's coping with life outside of her job.

Dorion's mother, who lives in China, has been staying with her husband and two children since February.

Her mother has been trying to get back, but flights from the U.S. to China have been cancelled due to the pandemic.

Dorion's mother-in-law is also in town for the same reason. Her mother-in-law teaches English at a school where Dorian grew up in China.

“They still want to go back. My mother in-law wants to go and finish her school year with the kids because right now the situation in China is getting better and the schools in Fuzhou are opening up,” said Dorion.

She also purchased some masks for them to take back to China but didn't want them sitting in storage until they leave, so she decided to donate them locally where they could be used immediately.

"I think it's more important for people in need to use them, so we delivered those masks to three families who are members of church that are emergency room doctors," explained Dorion.

That church is Grace Chinese Baptist Church of Richmond. Her congregation has helped raise over $20,000 to buy and donate surgical masks to China and local hospitals.

"I just think it's very important to protect the front-line workers, then we can have our safety,” added Dorion.