Ning Ning Chen by Katie Merchant, Former PCS Director of Special Education & School Psychologist
Ning Ning Chen was born in Shenyang, China with Mandarin being her first language. For her high school and college years, she lived in Canton whereby she learned Cantonese. After graduating with a degree in International Finance, she worked as a secretary in Beijing for one year. Her journeys then took her to the far eastern side of the US, settling in New York, where she worked for two years as a legal assistant before entering graduate school at City College of New York. Here, she earned a graduate degree in education then transferred to Huston Baptist University to continue her studies in teaching. Her journeys then took her on to St. Louis. Upon completing a one-year study at a seminary, she migrated to California, where she settled in and married.
It was in 2010 when Ning Ning took a position teaching Chinese in primarily elementary schools and also volunteered as a judge for the Annual Competition for the Association of Northern California Chinese Schools. Even though she found that there was a sparsity of jobs for teaching Chinese within the public schools, she recognized the need for obtaining her teaching credential and successfully completed these studies through San Jose State University.
With Ning Ning being one of the newest instructors at PCS, she speaks to her first year as rewarding. Most importantly, she has been able to continue her research into best teaching practices and methodologies for student learning of foreign languages. Also fueling her desire for the mastery of foreign languages is her personal effort in learning Spanish. She is teaching herself by using a primer for beginners - what she terms as a very handy book, “Easy Spanish, Step-by-Step.” In addition to Spanish, she has learned Italian, and from years past, French. We are so fortunate to have Ning Ning, an up and coming multi-lingual instructor with a true thirst for the learning of foreign languages.
In her spare time, Ning Ning does veer away from foreign languages and entertains herself by traveling through her mind’s eye. Such is accomplished by watching movies and documentaries, and she is most fascinated with psychological thrillers and reading real life tragedies. As she states, “There are just too many good books to recommend.” Traveling, too, is certainly in her blood. While she has spent time in Singapore and Canada, she longs to expand her explorations throughout Europe and hopefully, someday, Argentina, as a means of practicing with native speakers languages which she has acquired; she recognizes that it is her experiences of emergence with other cultures that she greatly values and benefits from in her own learning.