Ms. Jing Lei is Chinese American. She has a master’s in Education specializing in ELL from the College of New Jersey and a bachelor’s in International Business English from Guangzhou University. She has worked as a teacher in China and Hawaii.
How did you get into teaching and ELL? Tell us about your professional journey to become our new Primary ELL Teacher.
When I was little, my English teacher told me that I would gain an extra mouth and an extra pair of ears by learning another language. Learning a language is like gaining a superpower in communication.
I have always been interested in sharing my passion for language learning with my students. I began teaching ELL (English Language Learning) to various ages in Guangzhou after graduating from college. I taught ELL for 4 years and then moved to Hawaii. While in Hawaii, I taught in Punahou School, where I supported Grade 2 students. After living in Hawaii for five years, my family moved back to China where I worked at the American International School of Guangzhou as a Mandarin teacher. I found that teaching ELL and CSL (Chinese as Second Language) were very similar and liked the field of language learning, so I decided to further my understanding with a master’s degree in Education with a focus on ELL and CSL. For the past 5 years, I worked at Hawaii Preparatory Academy teaching CSL to students in grades 6-12.
I have taught language acquisition at all levels K-12 and am so excited to be back in China, this time, at Nanjing International School.
What is your ELL philosophy?
My ELL philosophy is centered around 5 Cs.
My students must feel that I care about them and their learning. When they feel truly valued, they will learn better.
My ELL class must be a space for communication. It is through this communication that we learn not only about language, but also other lifelong learning skills.
My students must feel comfortable in a learning environment. It’s also a safe learning environment, it’s safe to make mistakes. When students are free to be themselves, they participate more completely in the learning taking place.
My students develop a certain level of confidence so that they feel enough courage to have their own voice in the learning process.
I work hard to provide an inclusive community of learners who support each other in the learning journey and appreciate various cultures and develop a global mindset. Students should be empowered to develop their capacity to build a better community.
Here is a quote that I would like to share with my students. “Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going.” –Rita Mae Brown
Tell us a bit about yourself, including your hobbies and passions.
I love traveling, hiking, reading, and cooking. I recently discovered my passion for the art of flower arranging. It helps me appreciate all the beauty around us and is also meditative.
What message do you have for our community?
There is a word ohana in Hawaiian that means family. I feel like my family and I have been a part of NIS ohana ever since the beginning of the school year, even when we were in Hawaii working online. I am empowered and supported by this wonderful inclusive learning and working environment. Now that we are finally here, I can’t wait to meet everyone in person!