Yinjie Qian, the Chinese language teacher at Olympic Heights High School in Florida has received the 2012 “Teacher of the Year” award from the Florida Chinese Teachers Association. Qian is originally from China, but she has lived in Florida for sixteen years now, and she continues to teach her classes Chinese songs, skits, and poetry in an attempt to get them to learn fluent Chinese.
Students Excel Because of Hardworking Teacher
Qian didn’t start out at Olympic Heights as the Chinese language teacher. She first began her career at the high school as an ESL teacher, and she didn’t form the Chinese language program until 2006.
During 2006, Quian earned National Board Certification and quickly took the lead in forming the Chinese language program that would soon enable hundreds of students to learn Chinese and Chinese translation.
“Nothing is more gratifying than seeing my students’ achievements,” said Qian after she received her award. Many of her students have gone on to receive Chinese language scholarships, top awards at the State Chinese Competitions, or nominated as Pathfinder candidates all under her tutelage.
The program, which started out as a single class, has grown to include multiple levels as well as an AP class for students who wish to learn professional translation skills. One former student continued Chinese all the way through college and has just earned an internship in China.
Quian Continues Her Education
Though Qian has already revived the “Teacher of the Year” award and passed the National Board Certification, she continues to take classes and further her education. She spends the summers in China, taking extra teaching courses, and she has been invited to speak at the Florida Foreign Language Association Annual Conference.
In addition to this, Qian has also been asked to help grade AP Chinese exams by the College Board. With so many of her students going on to college to pursue business and legal translation skills, Olympic Heights High School and all of Florida are very grateful to Qian for her gifted teaching, and they recognize a talented educator when they see one.
Qian ended her interview by saying, “Many teachers at our school are dedicated and hard-working. To me, they are the unsung heroes and role models I often draw inspiration from. My students are also the source of my driving force. Their energy and enthusiasm for learning have always inspired me to better prepare them for their future.”