Mandarin immersion teachers really are like gold-precious and rare
FEBRUARY 10, 2015
In Delaware, looking for language teachers who ‘don’t really exist’
The Home2 Suites in Dover, Delaware isn’t exactly the Ritz, but it made a strong impression on David Schultz.
“I mean, teachers, We’re not used to this.” Schultz says, eyebrow arched.
“This” refers to five nights spent at a hotel chain that Wikipedia calls “mid-tier.” It also refers to a level of special treatment rarely afford to teachers—much less aspiring ones.
Schultz and three of his colleagues spent a week recently in Central Delaware as guests of the Delaware Department of Education. They’re all fluent in Mandarin Chinese. They’re all studying to be teachers at the University of Maryland. And they’re all willing to teach elementary school students, or at least consider it.
That rare combination makes them valuable—enough so that Delaware asked them up for a recruiting visit more than a year before they’ll be ready to teach.
“We want them to feel like this is the place they want to be,” says Gregory Fulkerson, who oversees world languages and international education at the Delaware Department of Education. “They want to be in Delaware. They want to live here. They want to work in our schools. They want to make sure our students are the best in the world.”
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