Staff Focus: Lynn Xie


Written by Roseline Yang, Community Relations Officer 

Lynn Xie has been in the spotlight recently with the organization of two special events involving not only YCIS community with Daddy Daughter Dance last Sunday, June 10 but also the wider Shanghai community with her cultural CCA concluding with a visit to the Lianyang Hospital. After 12 years of working at YCIS, this year will be her last.  We caught up with her recently:

When did you start working for YCIS and why are you leaving us?

I started here in 2006. Last year, I received my 10th year service award with YCIS! I first started at YCIS Beijing and then moved after a semester to YCIS Shanghai Pudong at Regency Park Campus to follow my husband to Shanghai. And now, I will be going to Hangzhou where my husband will start a new job! The loop is closing! Heading for new adventures!

Why did you choose to work at YCIS?

My husband is Chinese, so I really liked the idea of bilingual education. I thought it was a perfect match for me as a teacher and for my daughter who joined YCIS from Year 1. At that time, only YCIS was offering this now well-spread bilingual education in other international schools.

Oh, yes! The famous Anna who got all these IGCSE Awards last year and who just graduated from YCIS Pudong recently. Her speech at the Year 13 Graduation Ceremony was so full of humor! Anything you would like to share as a parent?

I am very appreciative of the strong YCIS curriculum and the great foundation my daughter got for her education. She had such awesome teachers at YCIS. From Primary to Secondary, it has been a nurturing environment for Anna. She is an introvert but you see how confident she was on stage. Through the nurturing environment at YCIS, teachers have known Anna well, and in Secondary School, teachers have been able to help her identify her strengths and weaknesses to bring out the best in herself. I just cannot imagine having her study anywhere else.

What are the changes you have witnessed about YCIS throughout all these years you have been here?

The growth of our school of course! Not only in size but also in quality.  Within my first three years here student enrollment nearly doubled. Just look at now: when I started, there were only three Y1 classes. Next school year, there will be five Year 2 classes and there will be an additional EAL Teacher, which brings the team to six EAL Teachers.

Every year, our school keeps improving. I believe that attaining and maintaining CIS Accreditation helps the school to set ambitious goals. Within China we have taken the lead on some key initiatives that other YCIS schools have also adopted.  Here’s a small example with the English Professional Learning Community I join every two weeks with other colleagues.  We have worked on reviewing writing prompts for assessment, and revamped writing criteria and level descriptors for the Criterion Scale adapted for YCIS Writing assessment.

Another anecdotic to share: Did you know that when I first joined, there was no Century Park Campus? All Secondary staff were located in this same EAL room (312) where I teach:  including current leaders Mary Yu, Jane Xie, and Amy Yang!

Ok, let’s talk about your work now! What do you enjoy in your job?

It is so much fun! I love my job! I love to be an EAL teacher as I am able to focus on the subject I love the most: English. This is a wonderful and very rewarding job as I am able to witness rapid progress from the students as they are sponges in their language learning. Actually, the students are at their developmental stage so they will learn in spite of me, but seeing them thrive after EAL and seeing them fully integrated in the life of our school is what brings the most joy!

You, have been amazing for my daughter. She came with half-broken English from local school and after just one semester, she was reading chapter books. Today, she cannot stop reading. How did you do?

It’s actually a team effort. Within EAL classes, we can focus more heavily on improving some of the language learning gaps. Apart from English strategies, my bigger aim is mainly to connect children with books. I let them choose what they are interested in reading. I want them to enjoy reading and talk to their friends about their reading. When they are hooked, this is it!

When I was in 3rd grade, I loved to read books by Beverly Cleary, and I read all of her books because I could relate to them. My favorite time at school was to go to the library and hear the librarian read a story to us.

You have also been involved in charity.  Why?
Well, several years ago there was an opening for leading the charity committee, and I was happy to take it since this particular aspect of the school motto, “YCIS will align with Love and Charity,” fits so well with my Christian faith and the biblical values that I cherish.  It was always a pleasure to help with organizing, together with colleagues, charity events such as Charity Week, Quiz Night and the Daddy Daughter Dance. This year was the 9th year that I was involved with Daddy Daughter Dance, and I am confident that it will continue as a strong YCIS tradition after I leave the school.

Where does your interest in charity come from?

I used to live in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, where I had the opportunity visit in the homes of minority families. Of course, it is much more prosperous now that China’s overall economy has improved, but when I first came in China, it was quite a poor area. Once I got the opportunity to take a trip to rural areas with the UN World Food Programme, and it was eye opening to witness some of the impoverished areas there. I am very pleased that our school is focusing on the UN Global Goals such as Quality Education and Gender Equality. Events like the Daddy Daughter Dance, where the proceeds go toward empowering girls from less privileged backgrounds to continue their education beyond primary and middle school, are tangible ways that our school families can take a positive action, again reflecting part of the school ethos “Love and Charity”.

Is there something you would like to share with our community?

It is never too early to teach children that we can be a blessing to other people and that we can share from our own abundance. This follows the biblical principle that God does not bless me simply so that I can be blessed, but so that I can then be a blessing to other people.

At the recent Year 13 Graduation Ceremony on June 1, Secondary Co-Principal Mr. Runkel asked the Year 13 students to reflect on what heritage they want to leave to YCIS. It is clear for me that Mrs. Lynn Xie, our Primary teacher for EAL is leaving many students a life-long love for reading and, to the parents who have been supporting her, a sparkle of love for the charity organizations she has supported. And to her colleagues, she will also greatly be missed but fortunately Hangzhou is just 2 hours away from Shanghai!