Yesterday, I received a message from my college asking me to compile a short informational write-up for their teacher files. This was to include a photo headshot, description of my educational background, places I’ve taught, courses I’ve been teaching and number of teaching years.
Although travel to China for foreigners is still temporarily halted by the Chinese government, many are hoping that the restrictions will be lifted this summer. I, also, am hoping a July or August return is still in the works.
My college is likewise expecting my return, which is a great relief on my part as I was wondering if they wanted me to make an appearance. After all, I will be a prime candidate for bringing the virus to the campus, even after all the strict quarantine requirements upon entering the country are carried out. You just never know.
It only took a few minutes to complete the request, including me sifting through piles of photos for a decent headshot, and off my email went.
Wanting to Add More
But as is my nature, I couldn’t leave it at that. I wanted to truly thank the school for all they have done for me over the years. We have a college website, full of school updates along with student and faculty stories, so I submitted the following to be translated with a request that, if appropriate, please submit. If not, please share with the leaders of my college with my heartfelt gratitude at being a part of their school family.
Here it is below, along with submitted photos.
From your Foreign Teacher, Connie
For my profession, I followed in the footsteps of my parents. My father was a history and government teacher; my mother was a music, speech and English teacher. In 1987, I graduated from Eastern Illinois University as an English teacher in secondary education and later, I received my MA in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from Southern Illinois University.
My dream has always been to teach overseas, to learn from others about their countries and lives while at the same time sharing my language and educational expertise to those in greatest need of learning. Through the Amity Foundation (爱德基金会), my sponsoring agency in China who works in partnership with the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries, I found a home in your country.
I first arrived in 1991.
My first class of students, in 1991, were English teachers from various schools throughout Jiangxi province. They came for a 1-year course to improve their teaching and language skills. I am in the front row, center
To date, I have taught in many different Chinese colleges: Nanchang Normal University (Nanchang, Jiangxi), Inner Mongolia Institute of Adult Education (Hohhot, Inner Mongolia), Guangxi Normal University for Nationalities (Longzhou, Guangxi) and, at present, Luzhou Vocational and Technical College (Luzhou, Sichuan).
I am so proud and honored to be an Amity Foundation teacher in China for 25 years now. Luzhou, and Luzhou Vocational and Technical College especially, hold a deep place in my heart because I have been teaching here the longest. The love, care and support you have always shown me have made me a better teacher, a better person and a better world citizen. I am so very, very grateful for your guidance and so very, very sorry I can’t be with you in this very trying time due to COVID-19.
Thank you for wanting me to continue working at your college.Thank you for the excellent leadership of the administrators, the School of International Studies faculty, the school workers, the enthusiasm of the students and all my apartment building neighbors. I miss you so much and I anxiously await my return to begin a safe, fresh school year alongside all of you.
Your foreign teacher, Connie.
I have been in the Asia region for 30 years as an English language teacher. 28 of those have been spent with the Amity Foundation, a Chinese NGO that works in all areas of development for the Chinese people. Amity teachers are placed at small colleges throughout China as instructors of English language majors in the education field. In other words, my students will one day be English teachers themselves in their small villages or towns once they graduate. Currently, this is my 13th year in Luzhou Vocational and Technical College. The college is located in Luzhou city (loo-joe), Sichuan Province, a metropolis of 5 million people located next to the Yangtze River .
Keeping my fingers crossed for your July/August return to Luzhou! A thoughtful expression of your appreciation and love for your China teaching life.