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Southern Lehigh Welcomes First American Chinese Teacher, Mrs. Patricia Guock

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Southern Lehigh Welcomes First American Chinese Teacher, Mrs. Patricia Guock

Allison Borelli, Features Editor

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Once again it’s that time of the year when Chinese students wait in anticipation to see just who their new Chinese exchange teacher is. However, this year Southern Lehigh has brought on a contracted Chinese teacher, Mrs. Patricia Gouck, in addition to the usual exchange teacher.

“My main goal is for students to develop the ability to communicate,” Mrs. Guock said. “For high school students to be able to use Chinese in the real world…[to] leave the classroom and be able to take their skills and use them.”

Mrs. Guock is Southern Lehigh’s first contracted Chinese teacher, which means she’ll be a permanent teacher here. She teaches Chinese 1 and Chinese 2, and co-teaches Chinese 3 with one of the exchange teachers from China. Mrs. Guock plans to make use of Southern Lehigh’s abundant technology.

“There are very few certified Chinese teachers and Mrs. Gouck was not only certified, but she had some experiences teaching Chinese in a school setting,” high school principal Mrs. Christine Siegfried said. “She also had some cultural experiences relative to the language that we felt would be beneficial for the teaching position.”

Mrs. Guock has previously taught Chinese at the elementary level, from kindergarten to fifth grade. The last school where she taught was Lehigh Valley Academy.

“I was a teacher before I learned Chinese. I was an elementary school teacher, and I’ve just always loved school,” Mrs. Guock said. “Then I learned Chinese and became pretty good at it, and I decided that would be an interesting thing to teach.”

Originally, Mrs. Guock was a philosophy major at West Chester University.

“I actually never intended on learning Chinese all that well,” she said. “It kind of happened to me.”

Mrs. Guock actually lived in China for two and a half years, when she moved to China in 1996 because of her husband’s job, and it was where she learned Mandarin. She was driven to learn Chinese by a combination of curiosity and adventure.

“I just became very very curious to do a lot of things and go a lot of places,” Mrs. Guock said.

Along with a husband, Mrs. Guock also has three children. Her youngest is in high school, and her oldest child is a junior at Cedar Crest College.

“Mrs. Guock is really nice and helpful,” Chinese exchange teacher Ms. Wen Dong said. “We have a great time co-teaching.”

Mrs. Guock also enjoys quilting and an activity called line dancing, in which dancers line up in a row without partners and follow a choreographed pattern of steps to music.  

Ironically, Mrs. Guock’s favorite food is Indian food.

“I particularly love authentic Chinese food that you get in China, what you get here isn’t typically that good in my opinion,” she said.

One of Mrs. Guock’s favorite authors is Pearl Buck, who has written a lot about China. She particularly enjoys Disney’s Mary Poppins as well.  And of course she enjoys teaching.

“I love watching students go from having little to no knowledge about something to having a lot of knowledge and [the] ability to use the language,” she said. “I just love the learning process and being a part of that.”

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About the Contributors
Allison Borelli, Features Editor

Allison Borelli graduates as a four-year Spotlight staff member. She has been a student reporter all four years, and features editor for two.

Outside...

Karin Naktin, Photographer

Senior Karin Naktin is a second-year photographer for the Spotlight. She is also involved in the Feminist Student Union and the Animal Rights Activist...

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Southern Lehigh Welcomes First American Chinese Teacher, Mrs. Patricia Guock