Ohio Association of Teachers of Chinese (OATC)
Ping Wu, Columbus School for Girls, OATC President
The 2014-2015 academic year ended with a bang for Ohio’s teachers of Chinese. Highlights were trips to Atlanta for the National Chinese Language Conference (April 16-18), the Asia Society’s Leaders’ Summit in China (May 9-16), co-hosting the 3rd Annual Ohio K-12 Chinese Speech & Essay Contests at Cleveland State University (April 11), and OATC’s own statewide teachers’ workshop in Dublin, Ohio (May 23).
The K-12 Chinese Speech & Essay Contests were jointly hosted by OATC, the Confucius Institute at Cleveland State University, and the Confucius Institute at Miami University. Approximately 500 students from 33 primary and secondary schools from across the state participated. Besides the Chinese speech contest, 360 students entered the Chinese essay contest. After the contests, there were Chinese cultural performances by both students and teachers. These included choral singing, solo singing, musical-instrument playing, Nepalese dancing, and martial arts.
Among the 1,200 educators from across the U.S. and abroad attending the National Chinese Language Conference in Atlanta were current OATC president Ping Wu and former OATC president Dr. Jeannine Subisak. Over two and one-half days, the conference featured nearly 100 educational sessions, teachers’ workshops, school visits, and private events. One of the many topics covered included how to be innovative in getting through to students. The key is finding out what motivates each student and then incorporating that into the course. For some students it might be learning Chinese rap, making friends with students in China (via Skype), planning a summer trip or study-abroad program in China, or laying the groundwork for a future entrepreneurial business in China.
Ping Wu and Perry Rogers, Ph.D., Assistant Head of School for Academic Development and Community Outreach from Columbus School for Girls attended the 2015 Leaders’ Summit in China. The Summit included educational seminars, wide-ranging discussions, and school visits. There was also a U.S.-China Principals’ Roundtable, which provided participants with a deeper understanding of the differences and similarities between the U.S. and Chinese educational systems.
As one of the final acts of her two-year term as OATC president, Ping Wu presided over a statewide teachers’ workshop for OATC members. A photograph of the attendees is shown below.