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Teaching Chinese-American Children and Adolescents

最近很有成就感的一件事,就是我遠在矽谷的兩個小可愛,中文都進步了很多。從害怕犯錯,不敢開口,口說強於讀寫,排斥寫漢字,到現在能夠自信地說出中文,發音有時甚至比媽媽更清晰呢! 本來討厭寫漢字的,現在不但以自己的漢字作業為榮,識字閱讀能力更是大大提升。這些其實很大一部分歸功於這些矽谷媽媽的用心,跟老師的溝通,以及對老師的信任。


One recent achievement that brings me a lot of satisfaction is seeing the progress that two little cuties in Silicon Valley have made in their Chinese learning. One of them used to be afraid of making mistakes and reluctant to speak, while the other had much stronger oral than reading and writing abilities and even avoided writing Chinese characters. But now they speak confidently, with clear pronunciation that sometimes even surpasses their mother's! The one used to dislike writing Chinese characters, but now she takes pride in her homework and have greatly improved her literacy skills.

Much of this progress is due to the caring efforts of the Silicon Valley moms, their communication with the teacher, and their trust in the teacher's methods. Whether it's accompanying shy children in class to make her feel safe, or providing feedback to the teacher about the children's learning difficulties and progress, or even planning the curriculum together, all of these have helped the children to steadily improve their skills. This sense of accomplishment is not just for the teacher, but also for the children and their parents.

Honestly, after teaching Chinese to exchange students for five years, I once told myself that I would never teach Chinese to children again. The reason is simple: it's not something that can be handled solely by expertise in teaching Chinese. To truly help the children, you need to give them your wholehearted attention, patience, and care, and only then can you discover what they truly need and give it to them as accurately as possible. This is the highest practice of educational love, and the children can tell whether their teacher is sincere or not. Although I love kids, at that time, I really wanted to take it easy.

Although I still occasionally offer emergency help to children struggling with Chinese, it is only with the mindset of providing temporary relief, simply helping them through a rough patch.

Last year, the seedlings planted with only the intention of emergency help unexpectedly sprouted one by one. Over the years, I, who once wanted to take it easy, seem to have become more deeply involved and cannot extricate myself...

In high school, I once told myself that I would never become a teacher. I thought I absolutely did not have the patience to repeat things over and over again or to wait for someone to have a breakthrough. Who would have thought? Now, I have been the one who patiently waits for the breakthrough. The fact proves that we should never say "never."

I sincerely thank all of you who have walked this journey with me, and those who have walked with me before, as well as the trust of parents and children. It turns out that even if it's not easy, there is still plenty of joy along the path of love.

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