I am excited to be in my fourth year here at Beijing No. 25 Middle School! In the past I taught Math 10, but currently teach Science 10, Chemistry 11, and serve as school Vice-Principal. Before I came to China, I completed a BSc in Biology at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and a Bachelor of Education degree at Acadia University. I also spent some time working in a UBC microbiology lab, researching biological controls and fertilizers for use in agriculture. Near the end of my teaching program at Acadia, I had the opportunity to travel to China to participate in a Shanghai teaching practicum; I so enjoyed my time in China that I decided to move to Beijing and start teaching at Beijing No. 25 this year.
As a science and math teacher, my approach may differ from traditional Chinese education - rather than giving students answers, formulas and equations right away, I focus on building diverse problem solving skills and strategies. This approach is often favoured in Canadian education because we believe presenting students with novel problems and situations better reflects the "real-world", and advantageously prepares students for university studies. Another difference in the foreign approach may be that we try to teach our classes in many different ways because we believe that every students is unique in how they learn best - one teaching style or method may not be suitable for all.
In regards to preparing students to attend universities abroad, I think foreign universities are looking for students that are capable of critical thinking, problem solving, and working effectively with others. It is not possible to memorize everything that professors teach, so students must be able to take notes, create study tools, and communicate successfully with their classmates and instructors. Also, students that are involved in activities outside of academics, such as volunteering, sports, school clubs, etc. are also desirable. Here at Beijing No. 25, we in the International program try to prepare our students in all of these skill areas, both in the classroom and outside in various activity classes and after-school programs.
I really enjoy teaching at Beijing No. 25 because everyone at our school (students AND teachers) are always learning something new. Our program is exciting and interesting because we get to combine the best of Chinese education with the best of Canadian education, creating a unique schooling experience for all! Every day presents challenges and rewards, both at school and living in the crazy city of Beijing!