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Chinese educator bids farewell after four months in America



Kaliel and BrigetteIndependence Day was Ms. Ma "Brigette" Yanchao's last day in America. On July 5, the Chinese educator and English teacher in Tianjin, China returned to her native land following a four-month stint teaching Chinese at Tech Valley High School.

Following a weekend camping trip - her first ever - and some last minute shopping - her favorite past-time - Ms. Ma bid the Tech Valley Region adieu and returned to Tianjin where she will resume teaching English with a new understanding of the language and American culture.

"I have enjoyed my time here and will miss all of you," she told the TVHS staff. "Thank you for all the support, insights, and help you have provided me over the past four months."

Ms. Ma's tenure at TVHS was part of the innovative sister-school agreement TVHS inked with Tianjin High School No. 41 in 2011. 

While at TVHS, Ma served as a teacher of Mandarin Chinese language 4 to TVHS seniors and as a tutor to younger TVHS students. She also visited other schools in the Capital Region and Questar III region to discuss Chinese culture and language.

"She has been a wonderful asset to the TVHS community and has assisted our students understand her language and culture," said Principal Dan Liebert.

Ma, who besides teaching learned colloquial English that she can share with her students in Tianjin, said she has been most surprised by the "beautiful views everywhere," in America.

As the second teacher to take part in the exchange teacher between TVHS and Tianjin High School No. 41, Ma said she is most impressed with the "passion for improving education and creativity in teaching methodology" at TVHS.

Asked what she thought could be improved in schools in America, Ma said the expectations of students could be improved and the course work made more challenging.

"It has been wonderful here," Ma said.

For more on Ma and her time at Tech Valley High School, read this interview with her on the Capital Region BOCES website.

"I enjoyed every second here, like the friendly, supportive co-workers, active, creative students and the lively and positive attitude, etc.," Ma said.

In the photo, 2012 graduate Kaliel Williamson receives one-on-one assistance from Ms. Ma Yanchao.