Teaching Chinese in K-12 Schools in the U.S.

An open educational resource website 

Grades 9-12
Public school

Material 21

"When I first started, they found a sense of comfort knowing there was a younger teacher in the classroom, when the teachers in the building were at least 35 or 40 years old. But at the same time, it also makes me a pushover. You know what I mean by that? 'Oh, it’s just Lance老师. He’ll give me an extension, sure.' You know what I mean? So it’s balance: how do I get them to feel comfortable and walk into my the classroom. At the same time, emphasizing 'OK, I might be young. I’m still your teacher. There are still things we need to do.' (…) I don't want to say that I got stricter and much more. I follow through better with what I say. If you don't turn something in, I will give you a zero right away. I don't care what your excuse is. I don't care why it's late. You're getting a zero. Or if I catch you cheating on something, just because I'm younger, it doesn't mean I'm gonna let you cheat in my class. And I think there come times when I have to put my feet down in the classroom, and it's not every day, because if you do it every day, then it loses its effectiveness. If you save it for certain opportunities where there's misbehavior, (...) you give him a look that says well, he's actually an adult. (...) I would say that's the best strategy that I have particularly for a young teacher. Just continue to clearly delineate your status as a teacher versus a student status." (Lance, Interview)