The learning process and acquisition of knowing a foreign language is often a difficult and challenging endeavor, but not when you meet dedicated and committed staff members, the likes of Madame Wu Pei Wen.

For the past one year, I had the privilege to be a student in Miss Wu Pei Wen’s Chinese class and have seen the commitment to educational excellence she had dedicated herself in achieving. Miss Wu makes learning fun. She makes this a positive and fun experience by the use of modern teaching-learning techniques and the involvement of the student thus ensuring no one is left astray. Within the cause of the third week, a visitor to the class would have thought that we (students) have known each other for a long time because of the interactions in the class. Imagine having a group of diverse people from almost every corner of the world with diverse cultures, coming together to learn for the first time a language with different letter characters and tones, it only takes teachers with experience, dedication and a desire for excellence to be able to excel in these situations.

Some of the qualities attributed to great teachers that could be seen on Miss Wu are enthusiasm, accessibility, caring, patience, and classroom management techniques. She is someone who is punctual, prepares and organizes her lessons in a clear and structured way and has the patience to explain over and over again. She constantly engages us (students) in question and answers sessions to ensure that we understand and grasp the concepts. She kept us motivated with varied, lively teaching approaches. She present material in an enthusiastic manner and instill a hunger in us to learn more. I was always eager for her classes on Mondays because of the interactions with colleagues. It is often said that teachers fall into three types: authoritarian, permissive and democrats. She is indeed of the latter. She ensures that there is that degree of student freedom, yet still she does not loose control of the class. She gives assignment and makes sure that you are provided with feedback for improvement.

Indeed I credited her with some of the efforts I have made as far as learning the Chinese language is concerned. I could say that initially I developed a negative attitude towards learning the Chinese language because I felt there was no need after my graduation and going back to my country, I will hardly use it again. But after encountering problems when I move out in town, I began to realize that I was wrong of the language perception. These are some of the barriers Miss Wu first breaks by teaching us the daily language basics, so that we would feel at ease when we venture out. I now realized that some of those lessons had a great impact as I can at least move and be able to ask my way out with the little Chinese I know now.

Miss Wu willingly shares her knowledge of the curriculum and her vast classroom experiences with some of the new teacher trainees under her, trying to build their self-esteem and confidence. Her rapport with them is excellent and well worthy of emulation. Already you could see in them some of these great qualities being picked by these trainee teachers in their methodologies in presenting lessons in class. She has also dedicated herself in extra curricular activities outside the school. An example of this is the end of year trip which was organized by the department to Taiwan Indigenous Peoples Cultural Park near Pingtung. She was actively involved which demonstrates a commitment to the school work. She was seen interacting with students throughout the visit with a smile on her face (see photo below) never showing a sign of fatigue.