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The women behind Chia Chinese Learning: Interviewing founders Cindy and Minfang






Cindy and her husband strolling on the beach in Maine. They both grew up near the ocean, exploring nature and reconnecting their roots are their favorite things to do.





1. What inspired you to teach?

I am a person who is always curious and enjoys learning. I want our future generation to experience that beautiful part of life, the world and being a human being to have the joy of making progress and achieving fulfillment. I enjoy using my gifts to add value in children's lives and the society. I also enjoy the genuine responses and interactions with children that I could always reflect on myself and help me improve to be a better person.


2. Share a memorable experience from your own education:

I probably forgot a lot of the content or subjects that my teachers taught me. But I always remember the stories they told me, the life experience they shared, the real-life connection they made, the belief and trust they had in me, and the motivation they inspired me. Those memories impacted me profoundly. They gave me confidence, courage to overcome difficulties, faith and hope to believe it will work and eventually they shaped me to who I am today.


3. Why do you want to start Chia Chinese Learning?

I am very lucky to have a few important people in my life who made me believe I have the talent, gifts and potential to start my own Chinese program and to create more positive impacts in the community. I found more and more children and families interested in Chinese language and culture in the DMV. Also I wanted to create a better working culture for teachers with better rewards and recognition after Covid. I believe in the power of the learning community to form a positive experience that all our students, teachers and families can grow together.


4. What do you see Chia in three years?

We will have a handful of amazing teachers who continue to thrive and help students grow in all kinds of neighborhoods in the DMV area. We have lots of partnerships with DMV public and private schools to bring our high quality Chinese learning experience to more students. We will also establish our Immersion trips in NYC, Taiwan and China.



 




Minfang and her husband at Mont-Saint-Michel, France, the country where they met as students studying abroad. They love traveling and learning different cultures and lives.





1. What inspired you to teach?

After studying abroad, I gained a deep appreciation for learning about people and their cultures through language and conversation. I came to realize that being a language teacher, I could light that same spark in children, by giving them practical skills that will help them in the real world and will give them a greater curiosity about the world around them. I love teaching children, I find myself humbled and curious when I work with them. The joy of teaching for me isn't only to educate, but also to learn from my students. Seeing the hope for the future from a younger generation is what inspires me to teach.


2. Share a memorable experience from your own education:

I have several teachers in my life as a student who went the extra mile to get to know me and to let me know that they acknowledge my hard work. The most memorable lesson I had was an art history class at the French language school I attended in Angers, France. I was so moved by the teacher that I thanked her for giving her professional and objective view of the artists and their work with very thoughtful instruction. She even took us to the museums and immersed us into the artists’ work, which has later became my passion for Experiential Learning and Going Out (of the classroom). She was so good at stirring in her students a desire to learn more that I would spend most of my time after the class in a library studying French and doing research on the artists we spoke about in class. Teachers like her are my role models when I teach.


3. Why do you want to start Chia Chinese Learning?

After 13 years of teaching in schools as a world language teacher and homeroom teacher for young children, I have really honed what I believe to be the best practices to engage and inspire my students to learn with their bodies and minds. When my previous school was developing, I practiced and learned a lot from the leadership’s perspective as far as innovative education, family engagement, positive leadership styles, and business development. Those experiences and skills led me to believe in myself enough to build Chia Chinese Learning so that we could offer the best learning experience to our students, bridging the most valuable relationship to our supportive families, and providing the most rewarding working environment for our teachers.



4. What do you see Chia in three years?

In three years, I hope to see some of our older students traveling to a Chinese speaking country to apply their language skills in real life. In the meantime, Chia Cinese Learning offers classes of various focuses in our partner schools and for our private groups. We will have story-telling workshops for the makers, writer’s workshop for the artists or heritage speakers, and performing arts studio for the kinesthetic artists…etc.






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