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VPS' Mandarin teacher writes to school

Mrs May Ma is our Mandarin teacher. She arrived in school in September from China, and she will stay with us until May. Mrs Ma is part of our continuing partnership with the Hanban organisation and the British Council. We continue our commitment to teaching our pupils a foreighn language.

 

 Time flies and I’ve been here for over five months already. I can still remember my first days here, curious about everything but knowing nothing. Whenever I lost my way in school, any teacher saw me would show me directions; whenever I forgot the password of the doors, any teacher passed by would stop to open doors for me; whenever I asked questions about teaching or about life, any teacher would answer patiently; whenever I felt frustrated, any teacher would encourage me; whenever I went to the office, any teacher there would offer me everything I needed; whenever I felt confused, any teacher would explain specifically…wow, looking back, I must admit that without all your help, support and kindness, I would not adjust to the life and work here so fast. So I write to say thank you to everyone in this family, yet a letter alone can’t fully express my gratitude, and I will not forget all the friendliness and kindness I’ve received.

First of all, I have to say sorry, since everything here is different from my country, especially the teaching ideas, methods and requirements in school, what’s more, I have inadequate experience of teaching pupils of these ages, so a couple of times, my teaching arrangement and imperfect classroom management have caused several teachers some trouble. The moment I realized my fault, I did some adjustment, but not so perfect since it already happened. Of course, whenever such things happened, the teachers around me offered me advice and help immediately, which made me deeply moved. Sorry again for the troubles I have already caused.

After I came, I knew it would take me time to adjust, so I’ve been watching and observing then drawing lessons from the past and constantly reflecting. I have learned a lot from supporting classes and I’ve been truly impressed by the relaxing and free teaching atmosphere in our school, the equality between students and teachers, the positive attitude and enthusiasm all the teachers show, especially the patience, respect and care all the teachers have on students. At the very beginning when I came to school before 9 o’ clock, I saw Mr. David standing by the school gate saying hello to everyone, I saw the teachers in the office meeting parents already, I saw teachers in the classrooms having prepared everything for classes already, I even doubted whether there’s something wrong with my clock. Whenever I heard the teachers talking about the progress of some students from another class, I couldn’t help wondering how every teacher can remember every student’s name. Sometimes, when I saw teachers have sincere smiles and heartfelt happiness on students’ achievement, I couldn’t help doubting whether the students were relatives or someone of the kind. Gradually, I realized I was wrong. The truth is that all the teachers in our school treat each student equally and genuinely, feeling happy for students’ tiny progress, discovering each student’s potential, complimenting students’ good behavior, affirming student’s achievements.

I had a discussion with my son after he visited our school. Both of us felt great gratitude for all the help the teachers and students offered, and what touched him more was the optimism, activeness, vitality, responsibility, orderliness, friendliness, warm-heartedness and earnest all the students had showed. As the saying goes, it takes ten years to grow trees, but a hundred to rear people. I do believe that all the good morals the students have can tell how successful the education is, which makes me feel more gratitude and fortunate to be one of you.

What’s more, I do appreciate the multicultural education in our school. Mandarin teaching could not be carried out so smoothly without your commitment to multicultural education. The teachers’ understanding and appreciation of Chinese culture and students’ interest on Chinese culture and cooperation in Mandarin class have exceeded my expectation. I will never forget the introduction of China the teacher prepared in Year 2 on the first day I arrived, I will never forget the wonderful assembly of Chinese New Year, and the students’ warming greeting in Mandarin every day, and how students practice speaking Mandarin whenever encounter me in the corridor, how they share their experience about travelling in China or even dining in the China town, etc. I do believe the students’ attitude towards Mandarin study and the culture behind can help better understand other cultures and help eliminate the cultural bias and build up harmonious interpersonal relationships in the future.   

Well, there are four more months left in front of me. With all your help and support, I will exert all my energies to the Mandarin teaching, to learn great teaching ideas as much as I can, to enjoy every moment here. And thank you again for everything you’ve done and I do treasure the chance being together with you. Thank you.

Kind regards

May Ma