Minfang Maguire & Cindy Xianqian Huang
Minfang Zou Maguire
Co-Founder and Director of Learning
Minfang is also known as Zou lao shi (“Teacher Zou”) to students. After working as a magazine editor and reporter in Taiwan, Minfang studied cultural event planning and management in Paris, France. She also interned as an artist’s assistant and a trilingual docent at Palais de Tokyo art museum in Paris. After Paris, Minfang worked as a trilingual translator and a design reporter and as an English and French teacher in Taiwan. During that time, she also translated a French book on children’s learning needs with a focus on culture and mindset into Chinese, which sparked her interest in education and the social-emotional learning of children. Her varied, firsthand experiences worldwide and appreciation of the cultures have led her to believe deeply in the value of global education and experiential learning.
Minfang was the Chinese teacher for ten years at Aidan Montessori School serving children from Pre-K to sixth grade. She later joined Whittle School & Studios as a Chinese teacher and Chinese literacy support serving students from kindergarten to seventh grade. Minfang believes deeply that learning happens when the learners are motivated, inspired, and engaged while feeling that their voices are heard and their feelings are validated. The curriculum she builds is focused on making deep connections with students in order to offer appropriate language acquisition through learning about the world and working to create meaningful projects. You can see her past work through her Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/zoulaoshidc/
Cindy Xianqian Huang
Founder and CEO
Cindy is also known as Huang lao shi ("Teacher Huang") to students. Cindy has been working with children since 2014 in various capacities and settings including in Romania, Malaysia, Morocco, China, and the United States. After getting a Master’s Degree in International Education Development from the University of Pennsylvania, she came to Whittle School & Studios and helped build their Chinese immersion curriculum. After that, Cindy became a kindergarten teacher at National Presbyterian School where she dove deeper into early childhood education and philosophy to teach literacy, math, and science. Her favorite way to teach Chinese is to combine what students learn and talk about at school, such as art, science, physical education, and even Orton Gillingham's Multisensory approach, with immersion language learning. Students find it fun and easy to learn about similar content without realizing that they are speaking a completely different language - Mandarin Chinese!
This belief became stronger and stronger until one day Cindy decided to leave her teaching job and start Chia Chinese Learning Program. Besides education, Cindy also loves cooking, hiking, gardening, going to museums, and farmers’ markets.
Why do we start this Chia Chinese program?
Immersion Instructional Coach
Mintong began her teaching career as a lead Chinese teacher at Washington Yu Ying Public Charter School in 2014 and served as the PreK leader of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program. She has led workshops for teachers, presented at foreign language conferences, coordinated and designed theme-based curricula for Chinese summer camps also served as a mentor to many new educators. Mintong enjoys facilitating children's learning by providing them with open-ended and inviting learning experiences where children create and explore in a language-immersive environment. Having diverse experience working with students aged 3 through 18, she constantly applies effective strategies to make learning engaging and to fit students’ needs and learning styles.
She grew up in Beijing, China, graduated from Beijing International Studies University with a Bachelor's Degree in Russian Language and Literature; and spent a year in Russia studying and traveling. She graduated with a Master's Degree in Foreign Language Education from the University of Maryland, College Park with a Prek-12 teaching certificate. Mintong enjoys facilitating children's learning by providing them with open-ended and inviting learning experiences where children create and explore in a language immersive environment. She enjoys playing the piano (started playing at age 4), writing traditional Chinese calligraphy, and recently she has got into indoor rock climbing as a new way to challenge herself.
Beth Sidhu is the Chief Brand and Communications Officer for Stagwell Inc, a top 10 global marketing services network. In her professional life, she works with marketers in more than 20 countries, providing global perspective on new ways to move brands forward. Beth believes that learning Chinese – or any new language – will help provide her most darling children with important perspective and encourage them to grow into global citizens.
Chia Chinese Learning's Mission
We want to help kids to be self-confident and open-minded, to embrace mistakes, to be who they truly are, to culturally succeed in a multicultural and changing environment, and to make the world better than we found it.
Our Educational Philosophy
Language is not only a tool but a cultural thinking approach. This approach helps kids to understand the world from a different perspective, to be open-minded, and to adapt to new people and things in a fast-changing, globalized world.
At Chia Chinese Learning, the students learn Chinese language through building projects, reading stories while enhancing critical thinking skills, and expressing themselves through arts and games.
All of these are rooted in a loving, caring, and safe learning community, where children can confidently take risks, make mistakes and learn from them.