University of Kentucky Confucius Institute (UKCI) held the 2015 New Teachers’ Orientation at the Lexington Public Library from September 21 to 25. During this orientation, ten newly-arrived professional and volunteer teachers were introduced to the developmental history and future prospects of the Confucius Institute, including its administrative provisions and teaching evaluation systems. Dr. Huajing Maske, UKCI Director, presented on the teaching methodology and classroom management found in American elementary and middle schools. She shared many practical skills for organizing class activities and for collectively preparing lessons. Dr. Mike Stacy, superintendent of the Beechwood Independent School District, was invited to present on the campus culture of local public schools. Additionally, the new teachers attended a classroom session at Southside Elementary School to observe Chinese language teaching and learning in action.
Also as a part of this orientation, Mr. Yang Zengxiang, China Partner Associate Director of UKCI, helped new teachers to apply for bank accounts and social security numbers, acquainted them with local customs, and provided an orientation to the local environment to ensure a smooth transition into their UKCI teaching positions.
Since its inauguration in 2010, UK Confucius Institute has played a valuable role in K-12 Chinese language and cultural education. The UKCI teachers are encouraged to integrate learning theories and teaching practices by applying their newly acquired skills to their own Chinese language classes.