Teaching Experience

I have enjoyed teaching for many years. It is incredibly rewarding to be a part of the education process and to see your students learn and grow. I especially enjoy teaching language courses because of my own interests in learning language and language education pedagogy. I have had some great teaching opportunities in my life, and I would like to share them with you here (experiences are in chronological order, starting with the most recent).


Chinese For Children and PreSchoolers
St. Peter Community Education, 2007

In the summer of 2007 I was approached by the St. Peter Community Center's Department of Community Education about their need for a Chinese language instructor. They had witnessed a need in the community for classes where children who were adopted from China could have the chance to learn some of their "mother tongue". Despite the fact that it required me to commute over an hour (as I had moved away from St. Peter that summer) I agreed to design and teach two courses for the fall semester, one for preschoolers (ages 2-5) and one for older children (2nd-6th grade). The classes were open to all children in St. Peter. Both classes were fun to teach. We covered the basics: numbers, colors, animals, and greetings, and we sang songs and played games to re-enforce the lessons and to get the children used to the sounds of Chinese. The class for preschoolers presented me with many new challenges, both because they were the youngest children I had ever taught, and because their parents were required to accompany them during the class, so the class had to cater to both children and their parents. I had fun teaching the class and would have taught it again if the commute were not so difficult.

Introduction to Chinese Language and Culture
Gustavus Adolphus College, 2006

During the 2006-2007 academic year I designed and taught a January Term course in introductory Chinese language and culture. The course covered the fundamentals of Mandarin Chinese, and used the New Practical Chinese Reader as its primary text, along with several supplemental vocabulary/dialogue exercises that I developed myself. I also required students to do oral exercises outside of class and submit them online via Moodle. The course was designed to be foremost an intensive language course, however I believe that integrating cultural studies into a language course gives the students context and helps them appreciate the language more. Therefore the course had a strong cultural component in addition to the study of the Chinese language. Students had Chinese film viewing assignments, as well as a final product on a topic on Chinese culture or history on top of their daily language homework.

During the course, I brought in special guest speaker, and my own college professor, Zhao Qiguang. He came to the class to speak on topics related to traditional Chinese belief systems, and to demonstrate and teach taijiquan. The class was a blast and the students really enjoyed the experience. I learned a lot through creating and teaching this course that I will continue to use in my life and career.

Materials related to this course:
Course Syllabus
Course Schedule
Video #1 from Prof. Zhao's visit
Video #2 From Prof. Zhao's visit


Lectures in Chinese History
Adolphus College, 2006

During the 2006-2007 school year, I had the opportunity to aid with the Intro to East Asian History course. I helped the instructor, Mark Denis, in several ways. I suggested one of the text used on the course, History in Three Keys by Paul Cohen. I also attended most classes to add my perspective on the topics discussed. I also engaged the class in active discussion on topics such as Tibet, Confucianism, and conceptions of Asia in the US. But my favorite part was having the opportunity to give several full lectures on topics in Chinese history. I covered the Tang and Song dynasties, as well as the history of modern China from the fall of the Qing to the present day in my lectures. I had a blast and hope to have similar opportunities in the future.


Course on ESL/EFL Education
Carleton College, 2004

In my junior year of college I took a course on English as a Second/Foreign Language education. The course taught various methods of teaching language, both for a foreign language classroom, and for second language immersion programs. During this course, I had the opportunity to volunteer at the Northfield Greenvale Elementary School's ESL classroom. There I helped elementary aged students who had recently immigrated from Mexico work on improving their reading, writing, and spoken English. The kids were a treat to work with, and the entire experience taught me a lot about education and language acquisition.


Chinese Teacher/Camp Counselor
Concordia Language Villages, 2003

In the summer of 2003 I worked as a counselor and Chinese instructor at Concordia Language Villages' Chinese village, Sen Lin Hu. For those who are not familiar with the Concordia Language Villages, Sen Lin Hu is a summer camp for kids from 7 to 17 years old. Campers come to the camp for an intense, yet fun immersion language experience. All the camp staff speak Chinese, and encourage the kids to learn about both the language and culture of China.

As part of being a counselor at Concordia, I taught a small group of beginning level students basic Chinese. We used a lot of immersion methods, such as TPR, to get the kids to learn the language. As instructors, we were given the basic course syllabus and would use it to plan out each day's classes. The language classes met for one hour twice a day, excluding Sunday. I taught two sessions, with children from 9 to 14 years old. I really enjoyed teaching at Concordia, I learned a lot about course prep and about the learning process that I was able to apply later at Gustavus.


High School ESL Peer Tutor
Hopkins High School, 2001

During my senior year at Hopkins High School, I did two semesters of peer tutoring in the school's English as a Second Language classroom. Students in the class were immigrants and exchange students from all around the world with lower-level English language skills. The majority of the students were from Somalia, Ethiopia, and Mexico, but there were also students from Japan, Kenya, and Columbia. This was my first experience teaching people close to my own age, and there were many new challenges and lessons to be learned.

Because the tutoring counted as a half-credit course for the tutors, we had very specific duties. Every day, Monday through Thursday, we would aid during classroom time, then break into small groups and help one or two students at a time with their reading comprehension and pronunciation. On Friday one of the tutors would be assigned to lead the entire class in a lesson and activity which taught something about American culture, as well as forcing students to practice language and learn new vocabulary. I taught twice. Once I taught about American nursery rhymes, the other time I taught about ice hockey.


Hopkins Summer School Teacher's Assistant
Hopkins School District, 1994-2000

Throughout junior high and high school, I took some time every summer to volunteer at the Hopkins Summer School program as a teacher's assistant. I worked in the elementary school in first through third grade reading and basic skills classes. I worked with several different teachers over the 6 years I volunteered, and my duties ranged from prepping materials to working with students both one-on-one and in groups. I really enjoyed working with the kids, and looked forward to the summer program every year.