First Grade Teachers

KATHERINE CHAN

I believe in immersion! Being educators themselves, my parents were adamant about using only Mandarin and Cantonese at home after immigrating here when I was eight. Even though they are able to communicate in English, they refused to respond unless spoken to in either Mandarin or Cantonese. I still remember how frustrating it was for me sometimes, having to be aware of which language to use and with whom. Now that I am an adult and am fluent in Cantonese, Mandarin, and English; I can fully understand and appreciate how being immersed in these languages helped me achieve fluency.
 
I have been using my language skills to serve the immersion community for more than twelve years. I have had the honor of being the first mandarin immersion teacher at Jose Ortega Elementary and watch our program grow. Being a believer of immersion, I also enrolled two of my daughters in CIS in the hope of helping them achieve fluency in both Cantonese and English.  I want to offer them, as well as my student, the world I got to experience because of knowing another language. I want to share with them the culture, the song, the arts, and the whole nine yards! I look forward to being part of the CIS team and hold your child in hand on their learning journey.

STELLA LAU

Thank you for letting me be a part of this wonderful, energetic, and life fulfilling team! I am very excited!

I am a first-born child to Chinese immigrants who migrated to San Francisco. My parents did not want me or my siblings to lose our Chinese identity while growing up in America. They believe knowing the language is being part of who we are as Chinese people. We were enrolled in Saturday Chinese school and every time we got home, EVERYTHING was in Chinese, including the television shows we watched! This tactic worked out for my brothers and I because we are all dual language speakers.

I am a product of the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD); I went to Garfield Elementary, Marina Middle School, and Galileo Academy of Science and Technology. I attended California State University, Hayward (now known as Eastbay), and graduated with a B.A. in Liberal Studies. Why Liberal Studies? I once tutored middle school students afterschool and they told me I would be a good teacher, because I was patient and I made learning fun. Believe it or not, I took their statement literally!

I volunteered at Chinese Education Center Elementary School (CEC) during 2002-2004. I read and tutored small groups of students. Through 2004-2006, I was a CBET Site Coordinator, a program offered by SFUSD to provide a certificated teacher to teach parents English. And in the beginning of 2006, I decided to become an elementary substitute teacher for SFUSD. I have substituted at many locations in the district. Since subbing, my passion to become a classroom teacher urged me to enter the credential program.

I graduated from the San Francisco State University Credential Program with a Cantonese Bilingual Credential in December 2009. While in the program, I taught students with Mrs. Miriam Fong and Mrs. Jennie Lee. Mrs. Miriam Fong is a teacher at CEC, an elementary school for Asian new comer students to learn survival English for a year. This program is to prevent these specific students from culture and language shock once they immigrate to the United States. I used Cantonese to teach English to the students. Mrs. Jennie Lee is a teacher at West Portal Elementary School. She is a Kindergarten and 1st grade teacher for West Portal’s Chinese Immersion Program. I was able to learn the ins and outs of the immersion program.

JULIANNE ZHU

Hello to all teachers, staff, parents, students, and visitors. I am very excited to begin my teaching career at CIS in 2018.

I was born in a little town in rural China where I went through formal schooling up until first grade.  I immigrated to San Francisco at the age of six, then after some years finished off high school in the city. I then moved on to obtain a Bachelor of Arts in Chinese at the University of Washington. It was during my time in college when I rediscovered and reconnected with my Chinese heritage. I have learned to appreciate the benefits of bilingualism and bi-literacy because they allow me to see the world in multiple perspectives. I look forward to sharing my knowledge and experiences with my colleagues, students, and their families.

Some of the things I enjoy on the side includes but not limited to: cooking, baking, painting, photography, cats, snacking, and most importantly, sleeping. My interests and hobbies are limitless and always evolving, and I would love to share my hobbies with my students in the classroom. I look forward to a great year!