PMHS moves Chinese classes online after Mao’s retirement

Danny Billheimer , Reporter

This year marks a change for students taking Chinese as Perry Meridian High School. 

The class has now taken on a new, online format since former Chinese teacher, Alex Mao, retired from PMHS. Mao taught varying levels of Chinese for 12 years. 

Chinese classes at Perry Meridian High School are being moved online now that Mao has retired. The Chinese language has many influences in all aspects of the world.

“I think having Chinese as an option is important because it is an important language to know in the business world, it is also widely spoken. Many Chinese people are involved in businesses throughout the world,” sophomore Tiffany Wu says. “Learning Chinese gives you an advantage of knowing a new language plus at the same time you are learning about Chinese culture, one of the oldest civilizations.”

 Students in previous years had the privilege of having Mao’s cultural richness and stories, which furthered their understanding of the language and the culture. 

Now, without any Chinese teacher in the room to teach them, students take the class completely online. Brianna Fox, who does not speak Chinese, keeps watch over the students as they do their work. 

Wu, who is fluent in Chinese, is also a resource for the students. She spends her third period assisting students who need help and may not have opportunities to review the work that they have done.

“Since it’s all online, the students aren’t as motivated to study anymore,” Wu says. “They just want to get the work done as quickly as possible…I’m just there if they have little questions.” 

Some students feel as though they are not getting the same learning experience as when Mr. Mao was teaching the class. 

“We go faster than when Mr.Mao was here and we don’t have much time to spend on practicing the characters. And we learn a lot in one week,” junior Ca Hlei Par says. 

Without a teacher in the classroom, the students do not have as many opportunities to do unique activities and further develop their speaking skills. Not having a teacher forces the Chinese students to learn more on their own. 

“Online and Mr. Mao are different because online I just go on and try to get my work done, but with Mr. Mao we always go over and review all over and also learn how to write the Chinese characters,” junior Sang Chin Par says. “Online we learn how to write Chinese characters, too, but it’s just different with Mr. Mao. I learn faster with Mr. Mao.”