New Teacher: Ms. Chiu


Shivangi Gupta and Michael Zhu

IHS Voice: What classes do you teach?


Ms. Chiu: Currently, I teach Mandarin 1, 2, and 3. 


IHS Voice: If you teach Mandarin 1, 2, 3, what qualifications do you have that are required to teach all 3 levels?


Ms. Chiu: I had been in this field for ten years, and I was teaching at Mission for six years. At Mission, I mainly taught higher levels: 3, 4, and AP Mandarin. I’ve been an AP Reader for 3 years. 


IHS Voice: Why did you choose to teach specifically Mandarin or Chinese? 

Ms. Chiu: I can only speak Chinese and teach it. I cannot teach another language like Spanish. 


IHS Voice: Why exactly did you move from Mission to Irvington?


Ms. Chiu: It was mainly because of job security. Mission doesn’t have enough enrollment. Classes are getting cut because of the decreasing enrollment and the teacher’s union movement last year. Here, Irvington is growing. Mrs. Yan is also my friend, and when she learned that there was a new teaching position, she invited me. Irvington has a much bigger program than Mission, and every year the class size is getting bigger and bigger. 


IHS Voice: Have you ever dreamt of pursuing a career besides teaching?


Ms. Chiu: I was a journalist before. But my major was communications, and then I went to NYU for Telecommunications. It’s more technological design. After I got my Masters from NYU, I was a reporter in China Town in New York for many years. Then, I moved to California. I was looking for a high-tech job, because I had a background from NYU. It was basically interactive technological designing. I realized that a Chinese teacher, nowadays, not only teaches the language, but also designs the curriculum. And to attract students, you need to design interactive curriculum, in which I can apply what I learned while pursuing a Communications job. Later when i got my credentials, I could use my background to communicate with students and design interesting, interactive curriculum to inspire their motivation. 


IHS Voice: Now that you’re teaching at Irvington, how has your experience been so far?


Ms. Chiu: I got support from Ms. Yan, and she’s been very helpful. The staff here is so far very supportive and very nice. Every two weeks, we had a new teacher meeting. In the beginning, I wondered if I should go. I’m not a new teacher. But then I found out it’s for relationship building, and the staff supports you a lot. If you have any questions, they support you. For students, it’s not just a whole bunch of students working and studying hard, it’s more active. Mission students would be more motivated to get a higher grade, but here, more students participate in activities and like to learn by asking questions.