"Ni hao" (on teaching, another in a series)

5 thoughts on “"Ni hao" (on teaching, another in a series)”

  1. I certainly remember some of those who taught me Chinese! Both of the types you mentioned were represented, but the do-it-my-way types were the majority. That’s probably not surprising, for several reasons.

    The most amazing thing about it was that I, an Iowa farm boy, made it successfully through the course!

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  2. lovely post! love this insight into your begins as a teacher & how you taught… all teachers are so different and unique. and you know, the best classes are always the one no one had to take.

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  3. Here I sit after attending the Chinese New Year program produced by my children’s Mandarin immersion elementary school, and hearing the announcement that Highland Sr. High in Saint Paul was the FIRST public high school to start a Mandarin program in Minnesota in 1989. I began a Google search to prove them wrong as I myself was a student of yours in 1987 (Open School of course)! That’s how I happened upon this post. Thanks for the memories! I also remember weekly character bingo and White Rabbit candies….Your classes were a highlight of my high school years which had a great influence on the rest of my career path to this day. I went on to major in, ahem, Russian in college, but sought out students of Mandarin to practice my Chinese. Then I took refresher courses when I was in grad school studying Linguistics. I now am a speech-language pathologist in the most linguistically-diverse district in the state of MN and is my job to evaluate children’s communication skills who come from families that speak 1 of the 126 different languages and dialects spoken among students in our district. And I even get to evaluate Mandarin-speaking children (with the help of an interpreter) once in a while…. And now my young children speak Mandarian better than I ever did and laugh at me when I accidentally say “I want to be like a toilet” (Wo yao xiang ce suo), instead of “I need to go to the bathroom.” (Wo yao shang ce suo).

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  4. HEIDI!!! Oh. My. Gosh. This is so wonderful, to hear from you like this – my apologies for the late reply, as I just saw it. I remember our days at South with love and affection and so much warmth. How great that your kids speak Mandarin now, and you Russian. Let’s stay in touch. XO

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