RJ Mandarin teacher Ms. Lin talks about her career as an educator and holiday cookies. Story and Photos by Maxine Fuselier ’19
With a masters degree in education, a PhD in education and curriculum assessment in addition to her 20 years as an educator, Mandarin teacher Ms. Lin is one of the most decorated and accomplished teacher on staff at RJ. “I think I was born as a teacher” she explains, “I love teaching because it is my career, it is not only my job.”
Born and raised in the Chinese province of Canton, Ms. Lin’s teaching vocation spans continents. After starting her teaching career in her native city , she then moved to Hong Kong before making the decision to move to the US. Over the course of her career Ms. Lin has also worked as an administrator as well as a teacher. After settling in Denver 20 years ago she took an assistant principal position at the Denver Language School and prior to coming to Regis Jesuit she was an associate professor at Regis University.
What makes RJ different for her though, is the religious aspect. “I see the people who have strong faith and believe in and trust Jesus,” she explains,”I would say most of them, they have a great heart and they are dedicated to achieving the better goal.”
This mentality extends to her students work in the classroom as well. She explains that it’s her students achievements that excite her most about teaching. “I see the kids being educated not only in their academic lives but also in the soul. What I mean is when they mature and they know what they want and from guidance by me they can direct themselves in the right directions. It makes me so happy to see them pick up the Chinese language or anything related to the subject or become educated on the culture.”
In addition to being dedicated to her students at RJ, Ms. Lin has also raised three very accomplished students of her own. Her oldest daughter graduated from CU Boulder, her middle son graduated from Carnegie Mellon, and her youngest is a senior now at CU Boulder. Her two oldest now live and work in New York City.
In her third year at RJ Ms. Lin has already made a great impact on her students. She is the only teacher for the Chinese Curriculum and so her students often have her year to year. Junior Hunter Sullivan, a Chinese 4 student, has had Ms. Lin’s class all of his years at RJ. “Ms. Lin has been very welcoming ever since freshman year. She is a great teacher, she really cares about her students, and she challenges me to grow every single year” he says “She has made me a better student, a harder worker, and overall has made me more knowledgable about the Chinese language and culture.”
In her time at Regis Jesuit and in America, Ms. Lin has learned somethings herself. “I think I’ve learned so much from my students. Teaching is not only I teach them something because I learn a lot from them. They are so different from the Chinese kids, from Asian kids I would say. They are so free and also very creative. They could not accept the very traditional Asian way to learn stuff.” And as for American culture she might not understand what we have besides the burger and French fries “but they are good at making cookies during the holidays, the ones with the different shapes and frosting on top” she admits.
Ms. Lin’s greasers piece of advice to students: attitude. “If you go to any new job, any organization, if you don’t know— you can learn. And the pople, they like to teach you. But if you don’t have the correct attitude, a positive attitude, it doesn’t matter how many tools are in your box you won’t come anyway.”