Teacher Spotlight - Connie Chan
Every month we will feature a current student, teacher or alumni from CLIP to showcase on our blog. If you are interested in being featured, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who are you?
My name is Connie Chan AKA Mrs. Chan. I was born in Fuzhou, China and grew up in Hong Kong. My family moved to the U.S. when I was in middle school. I stayed in Sacramento, CA with my parents until I went to UC Berkeley for college. I loved the Bay Area so much that I stayed here after I graduated. After being a first grade teacher in the Fremont Unified District for three years, I went to China to teach English and worked on my TESOL degree. I spent a year in Shangdong and another year in Shanxi. After returning from the two-year assignment, I ended up at Meyerholz teaching first grade again.
When did you join the CLIP teaching staff? How long have you been with the CLIP program? What grade do you teach currently, what other grades have you taught?
I have been with Meyerholz CLIP since 2006. I started with first grade and taught that grade level for five years. In 2015, my second child was born and I took a year leave of absence. Upon my return to work, I switched to kindergarten.
As someone who has been in the program for a while, how have you seen the CLIP program evolve/change?
I see a lot of potential in CLIP. The parents in this program have been very involved and supportive. The CLIP students have always amazed me by how capable they are in handling two languages and sometimes multiple cultures. I can envision CLIP growing into a bigger program, in terms of both student population and size of the campus. I look forward to the day when CLIP has its own campus, then the students can have an all inclusive Chinese immersion environment.
What are some of your hobbies or special interests?
Since I have two young kids, I mainly spend much of my free time with my family. We enjoy the outdoors and you will often find us camping or relaxing at a beach in the summer. We also love to play board games as a family. In rare occasions that I have kids-free time, I like to play Scrabble or go to movies with my husband. I also indulge on Chinese novels whenever I have spare time, with some sweet treats in hand—I have a sweet tooth!
What is your favorite subject to teach and why?
Science is my favorite subject to teach. It allows the children to discover the world with lots of hands-on activities and it is so much fun! My favorite memory this year teaching kindergarten was when the kids dug out earthworms from dirt to observe these amazing creatures. Most kids didn’t want to touch the earthworms with their hands at first. But within seconds, most of them were handling the worms with their bare hands amid lots of giggles.
Tell us about your favorite annual school event/activity/project.
My favorite annual school function is definitely Open House in May. It is a time when I can witness excited students showing their family what they have done at school. It is a time to celebrate what the students have learned. The joy and pride on the parents’ face are evident. It is also a time when some former students would come back and visit with their families. I feel like a farmer enjoying her harvest at Open House. Of course, the other reason that I favor Open House is that summer vacation is just weeks away!
What advice do you have for current CLIP students?
My advice to CLIP students: Thank your parents—they have made a wise choice to enroll you in CLIP! And don’t use Google Translate when you’re stuck!
What advice do you have for current CLIP parents?
Most of the CLIP parents are very generous with their financial resources, which is awesome! My advice is to be generous with your time when the teacher needs classroom volunteers. I cannot tell you how much it means to students when they see their parents helping at school, whether it is chaperoning field trip, hosting small group activities, reading Project Cornerstone books, or even just stuffing Thursday folders. The time window for classroom volunteering is fleeting. There will come a time when your child feels embarrassed to see you in the
classroom. So savor the moment when they still adore you to be in their school life. From a teacher’s perspective, having committed parent volunteers makes a day-and-night difference for the classroom.