Passionate about Her Students, Chinese Culture, and Food

Jack Miranda '20

After teaching at John Carroll University, Ms. Shi Jiang, also known as Jiang lǎo shīto to her students, often remarks that it was her destiny to teach at University School. After returning from her trip to China, she sent her resume to many Cleveland schools, but fell in love with US in particular.

Ms. Jiang explained that teaching at University School is a much different experience than teaching at a college. Rather than teaching students for just three hours a week at college, she finds that at US she “has a lot more time to teach my students more about the Chinese language. I am so happy because students learn so much more in a high school language setting.”

When asked about her time at John Carroll, Jiang lǎo shī responded with many good memories. She often chatted freely about many different aspects of Chinese culture. She found that “the students were very direct with their questions. They weren’t afraid of learning all about China.”

Jiang lǎo shī has far-reaching goals for her time at US. Most importantly, she wants all of her students at every level to learn how to fluently express ideas in Chinese. In short, she wants her students, “to become comfortable speaking this language,” recounting that, “when I was in Chile, I didn’t need to know sophisticated words or fancy grammar to connect with people, but I had an understanding of some Spanish, so I was able to communicate to the locals”. She finds that communication is the reason that a person learns a language, and makes it her first priority when teaching.

In the future, she hopes to create a middle school program for Chinese in order to give students a head-start because “that makes all the difference,” in her view.

Ms. Jiang has already had an impact on the US community by sponsoring the Asian Platform, led by Tony Peng and Brian Li. She hopes to expand this cultural reach in the future and even create a Chinese food club.

When asked about her favorite moment at US, she responds fondly of many times she had hotpot (a style of cooking raw meats and vegetable in a hot broth) with her students after school. Ms. Jiang commented, “Food is one of the best ways to connect a person into a culture!”

Ms. Jiang has a variety of passions. For her hobbies, she enjoys hiking and camping. She recommends that University students visit Canada to enjoy the scenery. She also loves yoga, hoping to become an instructor in her future. Moreover, she loves the fantasy world of the Harry Potter books. In terms of food, she commented that, “Chinese food is my favorite; more specifically, Chinese barbeque, but I also like food served at Aladdin’s.”

University School is lucky to have such a bright, new addition to its community.