Beijing University Educators Visit Campus

Finn Welch, Staff Writer

Future Teachers of America (FTA) sent 26 student teachers-in-training from the Beijing Normal University in Beijing, China, to the Acalanes school district in late October.

Over the course of their 3-week trip, the visiting educators observed instruction in various classrooms on the Campolindo campus.

Sarah Morgan, librarian and the main Campolindo coordinator for the visit, explained that the student teachers “are in college right now, getting their master’s degree, and their teaching credentials, so they’ve done almost everything to become an actual teacher except really study the methods of how to be a teacher.”

3 Beijing professors accompanied the student-teachers on their visit and acted as coordinators for their activities.

“They’re making observations and learning from cool things that we do, and they are even learning what not to do,” said Morgan.

Sophomore Hannah Westphal was shadowed by 2 of the student-teachers and showed them around campus to help them understand life at Campolindo. “I like talking with them and learning about Chinese culture, and I also help them understand our culture,” said Westphal.

According to Morgan, the professors required the student-teachers to write 4 research papers focusing on the American education system before returning to Beijing.

Beijing Normal student-teacher Charlotte Chao said she came to America “to study how to teach, and when I come back to China, I will use these categories to teach my class.” Fellow student-teacher Tong Dang wanted to “observe the PE class, and to do some listener projects.”

Morgan also explained that the program placed the visiting student-teachers with families in the community so they could learn about “family life in California.”