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

An open educational resource website 

Grades 9-12
Public school

Material 64

"I think the most important thing if you're a non-native American coming here, is that you have to understand how the American school system works and you have to understand how American kids are, in that they are not raised like kids in China. They're very very different, so the way teachers are trained here is completely different to how teachers are trained in China. Never did teacher training in China, but I think it's more about knowing your content, and controlling the class, and being organized. Whereas here it's not. Every teacher has their own classroom, and you have to have some sense of order, but it's more like how to reach the kid, and how to form connections with your students so that they want to perform. The teaching styles are just very different. I had a substitute teacher during my maternity leave and she came from China after graduating college (…) So they found this girl. She was willing to come and teach at the schools. Everybody was overjoyed, and I saw some of her materials she created for class, it was very well done. But she came into class, and the kids just hated her. Even though I like nice kids, you can only push them so far. They were doing things while I was on vacation to mess with her, to the point they made her cry once. I can't fathom that, like no, not my sweet children! But she was teaching them like how you would do it in China. And the kids were like NO. I felt very upset that that happened to her, but also realized that it was because of point of view. American kids are used to, Okay, this teacher is going to get to know me, trying to make me laugh, make me feel comfortable, and then we're gonna get the knowledge, you know. Whereas in China, it's like stop doing what you're doing, and the knowledge… and it's up to you… it's not my job to teach you, your job to learn, you know. So there's a large conflict, and I feel the teachers who are very successful in the US (...) they're the ones who figured out American kids." (Nina, Interview)