SHS Mandarin Teacher Cultivates a Strong Classroom Culture


Chinese teacher Shan Jiang pictured with her daughter

Reid Fulton and Victor Bowker

Hidden in the corner of the hallway above the library sits a classroom defined by academic immersion, a spicy hot pot, and a teacher cultivating academic collaboration. As the lone Mandarin teacher at SHS, Shan Jiang fosters a warm and welcoming approach to learning. From celebrating with hot pot, bringing her classes on field trips, and introducing personal connections, Jiang understands how to captivate a high school class. 

An ideal fit for teaching Mandarin, Jiang (Jiang Lao Shi – 老师) hails from Wuhan, China. Teaching courses from Mandarin 1 to AP Chinese at SHS, Jiang utilizes many virtual tools, games, and resources to immerse students into her native language. Since she is the only Mandarin teacher at the high school, students develop a strong relationship with Jiang and an appreciation for her culture.

With a friendly smile, Jiang welcomes her students, asking extensively about their day. Teaching everything from common greetings to ancient art history, she allows them to explore a whole new world. 

When the SHS Latin program was discontinued during his freshman year, junior Edson Andrade hesitated to take Mandarin. However, he quickly realized Jiang was willing to help him transition to a new world language. “She’s the best,” he said. “She’s very well educated and responsible. She connects with her students on a personal level.”

No matter the day’s lesson’s difficulty, Jiang makes her students smile. As she continues introducing Chinese culture and language, SHS students can expect a fun learning environment–and maybe a little hot pot.