Before I went to Virginia for the 2011Virginia STARTALK Chinese Teacher Academy, I thought that I was a good teacher because my principal and students told me so. However, during the training, I realized that I actually have a lot of room to improve and become a better teacher. The most important thing I learned in the program is that I need to implement research-supported best practices such as comprehensible input, target language (in other words, using Chinese to teach Chinese), authentic materials, authentic tasks, and communicative instruction. I will definitely apply what I learned to my future teaching. Over the past three weeks, all of us teachers have tried to become better teachers.
However, besides trying to be a better teacher, we all enjoyed our time in Virginia and went on several fieldtrips. The first weekend we went mountain climbing at Humpback Rocks, the second weekend we went to Thomas Jefferson’s estate, Monticello, and toured the property. The last weekend we had a bonus trip, where Professor Tseng’s Husband, Dr. Wu, took the three California teachers to mountain climb and enjoy the river nearby.
Overall, I was extremely appreciative of this opportunity. I really feel grateful for Professor Tseng and the two co-trainers who were extremely helpful. I also want to thank Dr. J.J Wu, who took time out to help take us exploring. I hope that I can keep in touch with those who led this program and correspond with each and every one of them.