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Wei Su wins over the hearts of students

Chinese+teacher+Wei+Su+takes+a+more+hands-on+approach+to+teaching+to+spark+the+interest+in+her+students.
Chinese teacher Wei Su takes a more hands-on approach to teaching to spark the interest in her students.

Chinese teacher Wei Su takes a more hands-on approach to teaching to spark the interest in her students.

by Jenny Chen

by Jenny Chen

Chinese teacher Wei Su takes a more hands-on approach to teaching to spark the interest in her students.

Jenny Chen, Staff writer

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The cheerful sound of children pervade the room, shamelessly filling every corner with inharmonious melodies and laughter. Welcome to Wei Su’s Chinese class.

After six years of experience as a foreign language teacher, Wei Su transferred to Hillsborough High School, a community she has been wanting to join since 2013.

Su practiced veterinary medicine in China, and moved to America in 2008, hoping to pursue her career in education at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ). In just four years into residency, Su completed her Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education. Simultaneously, her appreciation for the intricacies of the Chinese culture compelled her to earn yet another degree: Master of Arts for Teachers in Chinese, at Rutgers University.

Reentering the work industry, Su began teaching Mandarin to sophomores at TCNJ. But Su soon discovered her passion for teaching younger learners, and began holding Chinese Second Language (CSL) classes at the Huaxia Chinese School in Montgomery every Saturday.

“College students are more independent and studious (than high schoolers),” Su said. “But they lack the spirit and enthusiasm of high school students.”

During her teaching career, Su was nominated for a highly selective competition held by the Chinese Language and Culture Education Foundation of China. Out of thousands of applicants, Su received the Overseas Excellent Chinese Teacher Award, along with 50 other teachers across the nation. Meeting the credentials and education sets the framework for a good teacher. But how does Su strive to become an outstanding teacher?

In the classroom, Su invites her students to participate in class through singing and dancing to well known Chinese songs. Instead of enforcing involvement during activities, she encourages her students to converse with one another through diluting difficult concepts and ridding the floors of judgement.

While maintaining an appropriate classroom setting, Su does not let the traditional procedures restrict her students’ creativity and wonder.

“She is very smart, caring, and energetic,” freshman Ahad Rizvi said. “I like that she can laugh with us.”

Although Su is currently a long-term substitute teacher, she wishes to secure a permanent position. “I love this job and I love my students,” Su said. “I will do everything I can to stay.”

Meanwhile, her students are taking actions in a petition to keep their favorite language teacher around, hoping to advocate for more laughter in the classrooms of HHS.

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