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In 2016-2017, I received an opportunity to teach Chinese in a middle school and a high school in Louisville, Kentucky, the United States. It was a difficult decision because this means not only leaving a familiar environment, but also mustering up my perseverance to overcome challenges ahead in order to make this experience fruitful such that not a day in that whole year would go to waste. Looking back, I am very grateful that I made up my mind to teach in a totally different classroom context because it has provided me with loads of opportunities to reflect.

I still remember that teaching in the United States in the first few weeks is like an albatross struggling to fly for the first time. After teaching for several years in Hong Kong, I felt comfortable in the local classroom context that teaching has almost become an innate ability for me. I understand the principles and the expected role of a teacher in the school that I worked. However, stepping into a classroom of a totally different cultural context, I felt like a fish out of water. These experiences and the children’s honest feedback gave me numerous opportunities to reflect on my teaching performance and inspired me of alternative perspectives on teaching, learning and living.

Being a teacher is not easy, but what is most rewarding is how the interaction with students impacts the way I think. I may not know if I have made a difference on the students I once taught, but one thing I am certain is that the students have changed me.

Kwan Chi Kin, Tommy
Chinese Teaching Fellow 2016-2017
ELED Graduate 2013

On Game Day, the whole school was divided into Blue Team and Red Team to compete in various sports activities.

When doing a research project on Chinese food culture, students also get to experiment making a Chinese dessert – Apple Chunks in Hot Toffee!

Apart from classroom teaching, I feel fortunate to have opportunities to build connections with the community by engaging in a variety of community services. In one occasion, I shared stories about a renowned family in their mansion as a museum guide.

Teaching students with educational needs is no easy task, but it is rewarding to see their smiles when they are savoring the Chinese dessert – Tang Yuan!