Chinese Visual Arts Teacher
What drew you to Keystone?
Last year, when I worked with Keystone Summer Archway, I worked with a few Keystone faculty members and got a taste of living on campus. I enjoyed the experience and the paycheck made the experience even better. This year, I participated in the Summer Archway program again and a teacher informed me that the school was looking for a Chinese Visual Arts teacher and he thought I fit the description – so here I am.
What do you like most about teaching Art at Keystone?
As a Chinese Thread Art teacher, I have the freedom to create my own curriculum. My classes are not just about teaching techniques and skills, nor are they “down time” as they are often perceived in public schools, nor do they fall under thinking as promoted in the IB curriculum. They are about knowing and feeling Chinese culture in the process.
How do you promote Chinese culture and identity in a world context during Chinese Art class?
I tell stories. Children like stories rather than principles. They memorize the stories in detail and accept the messages easily. My passion for Chinese culture traces back to a book I read when I was little – the 365 stories to read to yourself. When students understand the stories, they will compare them with what they have learned in world civilization and Chinese civilization class and develop their own thoughts about them.
You are a trained scientist in addition to an artist and art teacher. How do your work in science and your work in Chinese visual arts complement each other?
With a background in medicine and biology, I identify firstly as a scientist. Chinese culture and visual arts are hobbies since I was very young. I became logical, critical, and creative because of them.
What has been the most rewarding experience for you teaching a KAP?
As part of the Keystone Activity Programme, I coach girls’ soccer. Last year there was no girls’ soccer team at Keystone since too few students showed interest. This year we had 22 players from grade six through eight and we took part is ISAC and BASE games and tournaments. Although we lost most of the games, all players tried their best and they all want to play soccer again. As the first ever girls’ soccer team we created Keystone history.
Describe Keystone as your home away from home?
Keystone as a home is like a family with a lot of siblings and children. People eat, live, work, learn, and play together. Siblings take care of each other and all adults look after the children.