3e International School teacher Sonya Porcher (US) has been in Beijing one year. She previously taught in Shanghai, Ningbo, and Hangzhou before coming to 3e International School, where she teaches preschool. Porcher shares more about herself with beijingkids.
What brought you to Beijing?
The opportunity to work in the capital city of China was highly appealing. I went to a job fair in Shanghai and met the current principal of my school, Ms. Amy Lovedayy Hu. I saw the school prior to meeting Ms. Amy because it is located beside Pete’s Tex Mex. I shared with Ms. Amy that the school looked inviting and friendly from the outside. I wanted to see what the school’s culture was like in the inside. She and I did not have a formal interview, but a chat over tea instead. I was offered the position because of my desire to work with young learners in a play-based environment.
What’s was your favorite subject when you were a student?
My favorite subject when I was a student was mathematics. Solving math problems was like solving a puzzle. I knew if I developed my mathematical thinking skills, I would become a better problem solver.
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
I always wanted to be a teacher when I was a child. My mother taught elementary school and I assisted her when I was old enough to make bulletin boards for her classroom as a middle and high school student. I was considering a career in child psychology, but then the thought of working with children to develop their social and emotional side directly was of a higher interest. I remember the joy that my mother experienced when teaching and I wanted to experience what it would be like to be the orchestrator of a child’s academic growth.
How would your students describe your teaching style?
My preschool students would describe my teaching style as fun. We enjoy playing games that merge academics with physical activity. The students utilize their full body during circle time. We use finger play, dance to music, and creative expression during learning time.
What was your favorite book growing up?
My favorite book was Where the Wild Things Grow. The ideal of imaginative creatures taking on human qualities was fascinating to me.
How do you like to relax on the weekends?
I like exploring Beijing on the weekends. I enjoy finding new restaurants with friends. Also, there are many new shops in Houhai as well as the Goulou area. However, one of my favorite places to visit is the Bookworm for new books.
Where do you like to go on holiday?
I like to go to warm and sunny places on holiday such as the Philippines, Thailand, or Malaysia. I enjoy spending time at the beach.
Tell us something most people don’t know about you.
Most people who meet me do not know about my musical side and that I enjoy playing the violin and piano. I am currently interested in learning to play the guitar. I purchased a guitar last Christmas in the US and I will bring it back after the holidays. My goal is to find a guitar instructor.
What’s currently on your playlist?
Since it is close to the holidays, I am now playing a lot of Christmas music such as Mariah Carey and typically, I listen to a variety of genres such as jazz and even classical music.
Anything else you would like to share?
I have enjoyed my time in China and I am still learning the language as well as the culture. This is my first experience living abroad and staying in one city for a period of time. I find the international community to be warm and caring. I have also enjoyed working at 3e International School, as a teacher of several years in the states. I can personally say that this has been one of the best teaching experiences.
Photo: Courtesy of 3e