‘Influencing people’: A profile on Huron’s teacher Lizheng Ma


Courtesy of Lizheng Ma

Lizheng Ma is currently an English Language Leaner (ELL) teacher at Huron.

Suaylin Soriano, Guest Writer

Lizheng Ma, who is an English Language Learner (ELL) teacher at Ann Arbor Huron High School, was born in Beijing, China. When she was in middle school, she had an  impactful Chinese tutor who inspired her to be a teacher.

She chose to become a teacher when she was in high school, and then after college, she received her first master’s  degree in the United-Kingdom for English as a second language, and then came back to Beijing to be an English teacher  for three years. Then, she moved to Michigan and got another degree at the University of Michigan. After graduating she got a job at Huron high school as an English as a second language (ESL) teacher.

 “Teaching philosophy, I hope that all my classes can be meaningful to my students,” Ma said. “So meaningful. Those are really important words, because I’m teaching English as a second language. So, I hope my students can improve their English skills after they finish my classes, and also I want to give my students a month’s worth of time to value their own culture and to be successful in the United States. I want them to value their own cultures. That is my teaching philosophy.”

She decided to stay at Huron High School for a couple of reasons.

“I think Huron High School is a pretty diverse school,” Ma said. “It has students from different parts of the world and that is my favorite thing about the school. I know the teachers here really value their students’ performance and their progress.”

She does yoga for fun and she loves to read. She loves to read in Chinese and English, and enjoys playing with her dog. 

“Now I’m reading a book called ‘The Right,’” Ma said. “The Great Read mentioned it as one of the greatest Chinese literature novels. That is my favorite Chinese novel and my favorite English novel so far is probably ‘The Giver’ and that is the book I’m going to teach in the next unit.”

Ma has one main takeaway to share about teaching.

“I just want to share one thing about my thoughts of being a teacher,” Ma said. “I think teaching is a good career because we can influence people and we can influence the next generation to help the world to be a better place. But also I want to say that teachers are human beings as well. Sometimes, if the teachers do not see students grow up, teachers may feel frustrated. So I don’t want my colleagues and myself to be frustrated and to be too tired when we are in the school days, so keep positive and keep happy. That is a very important thing to keep doing.”