CPS teacher shares China teaching experiencePublished 11:20pm Monday, October 14, 2013
CHOCOWINITY – Julie Crippen shared with her young students several mementos of her summer excursion to China, including a set of chimes fashioned from tiny brass bells, an abacus and an exquisite silk scarf.
The treasured items brought a chorus of “ooohs” and “aaahs” from the assembled first graders. For them, the mementos represented a culture they know little about, but Crippen plans to change that.
The teacher’s journey to China wasn’t just a pleasure trip; she was one of six North Carolina teachers who spent just over three weeks as part of the Global Classroom Alliance’s Summer Immersion Program.
While there, Crippen taught English to Chinese children at the Zhongnan International Elementary School in Haimen.
“The children in China are very motivated, and they are motivated by their parents.” Crippen said. “Their parents go to great lengths to provide the best education possible. Some of the parents work two or three jobs so their children can go to the best schools.
Something that is considered a privilege in China is an opportunity afforded every school age child throughout Beaufort County.
Crippen, who joined the Chocowinity Primary School staff at the beginning of this school year, said she plans to share her experiences in China with her CPS students.
“One of the things I learned is that the children in China are very independent,” she said. “I’m hoping to share some of their traditions with our children here and to share some of the independence. I’m giving my students more choices and more responsibility attached to that.”
Although new to CPS, Crippen has been teaching 17 years, first in Wilson County and then two years in Pitt County. She was born in New Hampshire and raised in Vermont, and she moved to North Carolina 18 years ago.
While in China, the American educators visited the National Museum in Shanghai, took a river cruise in Shazhou and climbed the Great Wall near Beijing.
“It was terrific,” Crippen said of the experience. “I think what I enjoyed most was learning about their culture. Every place they took us to was 5,000 years of history.”
Back in the United States, Crippen is happily settled in at Chocowinity Primary.
“The staff here is fantastic,” she said. “Everyone here has such a positive attitude and a caring attitude. That’s what you need … you need to support one another.”
Chocowinity Primary School Principal Alicia Vosburgh said Crippen has already become a valued member of the CPS family.
“We are thrilled to have an internationally-traveled teacher on our staff,” Vosburgh said. “We were so excited to be able to hire her and to have her share her experiences with our staff and students.