This is the sort of emotion, sentiment and dedication that, you would agree, moves, feuls and motivates us to do what we do. I am immensely touched by what Betty wrote and of course, will do my best to make meaningingful her as well as those that came before us have so well established for us to follow in the work of teaching Chinese: With Betty’s permission, I am sharing her note. Your comments and sentiment welocme! 一起加油吧 — Chunman Gissing
“Thank you for your kind words; I’m deeply touched. I think teaching is one of the greatest professions in the world. Through teaching, I’ve been able to fulfill my other career goals of social worker, foster parent, aunty, counselor, education advocate, and many other roles. I’d like to acknowledge my associate and friend, Dr. Marge Chow, whose idea to use that first Startalk proposal to certify speakers of critical languages brought us all to where we are today. Take a bow, Marge! It was Marge’s perseverance and expertise that got us through and in some cases, maxed out flexibility on state regs on certification. She’s still advising and finding out what’s what—all as a volunteer advisor to Startalk.
It’s been a lot of fun seeing our teacher cohorts advance year after year. I can’t believe we’re embarking on our 6th Startalk project. I like to set myself challenges and ask myself, “Can I do this?” and “How will this benefit the maximum number of people/kids?” That’s what motivates me. It’s been a blast all the way from the first FLAP grant I co-wrote in the mid ‘90s to seeing the elimination of all FLAP grants. But fortunately, we still have Startalk.
I hope that some of you will be the leaders of the next generation of Chinese consultants, advisors and administrators so that what we are establishing now will not be in vain.
You’re about to have a great adventure, Chunman. Take full advantage of it!