Ms April He and Ms Cassie Gao join the Mandarin department.
City Campus continues to strengthen its Mandarin language provision, by welcoming Ms April He and Ms Cassie Gao to its Mandarin teaching team. Read on to find out more about Ms April (left) and Ms Cassie (right), and what makes them experts in their field as Mandarin teachers:
What is your teaching background?
April: I graduated from Jilin International Studies University with a Bachelor's degree in Teaching Chinese as a Second Language. Since qualifying 6 years ago, I have had the privilege of teaching a wide spectrum of Mandarin learners, from kindergarten right up to college students.
Cassie: I come from Shandong, a province in Northern China. I graduated with a Management Bachelor’s degree and an English Teaching Education Diploma from the Hainan Tropical Ocean University in China. I also have a Master’s degree in Chinese teaching from Huachiew University, along with a Teacher’s Qualification from the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China in 2014. During my career so far, I have taught children from kindergarten up to university students.
What inspired you to become a teacher? What do love about teaching?
April: I love to explore new things. My goal is to inspire the children I teach to have the same depth of curiosity. Teaching our children to be lifelong learners makes a great difference, not only in the classroom, but in their wider lives and into their futures.
Cassie: I have always had a passion for languages, coupled with the desire to pass this on to others. I love to learn, and in turn that inspires me to help young people develop as well. It is a learning journey that goes both ways - my students also teach me something new every day.
Teaching allows me to work with children from many different nationalities and backgrounds, all with their own personalities, abilities and uniqueness. I believe that each child will succeed if the learning environment is tailored to their needs, and it is my job as an educator to cultivate this for them.
What do you consider to be your greatest successes in your teaching career so far? What challenges have you overcome?
April: I have received many kind messages of thanks from children and parents during my teaching career so far, and I count each comment as a great success. Knowing that I have helped children to progress in both their ability and their enjoyment of Mandarin is a great honour for me.
One challenge I have faced was making the leap from teaching adults to working as an Early Years Mandarin teacher. Of course, my teaching style had to change for this age group. I needed to help much younger children to develop an interest in Mandarin language and culture.
I tackled this challenge head on, by learning to adapt my speaking tones, my facial expressions, my teaching activities and resources, almost everything about my teaching practice! The children responded well and began to develop positive associations with learning a new language - a testament to the fact that I wanted to make Mandarin fun, whilst still making sure the children were learning.
Cassie: For me, I measure success in my teaching by the lasting impressions I make on my students. I think one of my successes in teaching is build the strong relationship with my students. I have seen the progression of children I have taught from a young age, through to their senior exams. To go on this journey from beginning to end, and see my students learn new skills is extremely valuable to me.
A challenge for us as educators is balancing the different learning needs of each student we teach. Especially in a subject like Mandarin, my students join my classes with varying levels of ability. I have created my own differentiation methods of grouping children together in similar abilities, adapting their learning tasks and resources, and giving each level of ability their own goals to achieve. Despite these differences, I still bring the class back together to share with each other what they have learnt, to make sure all children still keep a sense of inclusion and belonging.
What most excites you about the Mandarin department at City Campus?
April: I can already tell that there is a passion and excitement at City Campus for learning Mandarin. Our students often come running up to me around the school, smiling and waving, saying “Ni Hao, He Laoshi” [Hello, Ms He]. This makes me feel proud and excited about the impact of our Mandarin teaching within the school.
In our Mandarin team, we have a culture of sharing knowledge and helping each other to become the best teachers we can be for our students. We work very closely every day, sharing our teaching resources and reflecting what is going well and what we can make even better. Mr Michael Wu (Head of Mandarin) and Ms Hilda Pan (Mandarin Teacher) are fantastic colleagues to have, and all of us work well together to achieve the best outcomes for our Mandarin students.
Cassie: Shrewsbury City Campus is a warm, friendly and caring community. Our students come from many different cultures and backgrounds, and they are all full of talents and energy.
The school’s learning environment is second to none, and the knowledge and expertise among the school’s leadership and teaching team is excellent. We celebrate each individual child here, which is my passion too. It is a joy for me to make our Mandarin lessons interesting, fun and useful for each of our students.
City Campus has a strong Mandarin teaching department, which I am proud to be a part of. Under the leadership of Mr Michael Wu, Head of Mandarin, our team has designed a topic-based Mandarin curriculum, which makes the children’s learning more meaningful and applicable to what they are learning in other subjects as well. I am very excited to be working with a team of such experienced and passionate Mandarin teachers, and becoming part of this fantastic team.
Shrewsbury City Campus is currently accepting applications for Early Years and other selected year groups for August 2021. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.