What's your Chinese name?

Ni hao!

Hi everyone! I am very excited to be writing this field report – I have gotten so much done over the last month I’ve forgotten to write! Things here at the Kwong Kow Chinese School were rolling well before I arrived, and so I hit the ground right in the middle of the all-day summer program. One of my biggest and most immediate projects is getting the school licensed as an after school program (it’s been around for 93 years but isn’t officially licensed with the state). To begin, we planned, staged, and reflected on our first fire drill, evacuating over 300 people in 3 minutes and 30 seconds. In addition, I have been working hard to organize and create the extensive paperwork needed, and further on getting it translated. I have found that learning Chinese will be very helpful to this position, and thus have been sitting in on Kindergarten class as well as studying on my own (I have been spoken to in Chinese twice on the T!). The kids are awesome and when they walk by my office door every morning and afternoon for breakfast and lunch they greet me in Chinese. It’s so hard it feels like learning two languages, but I will be able to do so much with it once I’m a bit better.

Next week, I hope to attend a week-long conference at the Boston Children's Museum, mornings spent improving Mandarin pronunciation (but taught in Mandarin too! eek!), and afternoons on thematic unit planning. I’ll be attending it with teachers from the school and will use this shared experience to help shape the curriculum I’m helping design for the school. The first draft I drew up was given high remarks by the head of Foreign Languages of the Boston Public Schools, so I brushed my shoulders off after that. Don’t worry though, it hasn’t gone to my head, despite any great ideas I may have, I still can’t explain them to the teachers, so I’m consistently humbled (and motivated) by this language barrier.

Overall, I’ve found sitting in front of the computer for about 9 to 5 a bit tedious, as I am used to running classrooms or at least sitting in them for more than the last few years (at least I have Kindergarten on M,T,R!). However, I’m becoming a masterful table-manipulator in Word, pin-yin typist in NJStar, and curriculum/resource/everything researcher on Google. I loved reading through these first field reports and look forward to hearing how you’re all doing next month!

Zai Jian!


Comment from Jules Goins on August 20, 2008 - 2:15pm

A. I want my Chinese name. Tell me how to figure it out.
B. Nice job with the curriculum draft. And you're lucky; you get a good excuse to go to the Boston Children's Museum.

Keep up the good work.