Friday, August 3, 2012

New Mandarin Teacher Arrives from China!

I am writing from Washington D.C., where I have come to greet our new Mandarin Chinese teacher and escort him to Arlington! As you know, Arlington Public Schools was the recipient for the second year in a row of the Teachers of Critical Languages Program (TCLP) grant, which funds teachers from China and Egypt to come the United States to expand the teaching of Chinese and Arabic in our country.

This year, over 140 schools from across the country applied for this competitive grant, and only 24 were selected. And -- even more amazingly -- over 700 teachers from China and Egypt applied to participate in the program, with only 24 making the cut! Needless to say, our new exchange teacher is sure to make a strong impact on our school and the lives of the students he teaches, just as Mr. Bo Yu did last year!

Our new teacher comes from the Szechuan province, where he has been teaching English at the high school level for over 10 years. Mr. Xu Qiang goes by the American name his first English teacher assigned him when he was 12 years old: Oliver. His wife and two-year-old son remain in China this year on his first-ever trip to the United States. In fact, he has only been out of China to visit Thailand and Vietnam.

We are extremely fortunate to have him in our community, and I am delighted to count such an excellent teacher among our faculty! Welcome, Oliver!

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