Minfang is also known as Zou lao shi (“Teacher Zou”) to students. She is a native Chinese speaker who grew up in Taipei, Taiwan. After years working as a magazine editor and reporter in Taiwan, Minfang put her French degree to work and studied Cultural event planning and management in France. She also interned as an artist’s assistant and a trilingual docent at Palais de Tokyo in Paris. After Paris, Minfang worked not only as a trilingual translator and a design reporter, but also an English and French teacher in Taiwan. Her varied, firsthand experiences around the world have led her to believe deeply in the value of a global education.
Prior to Whittle School & Studios, Minfang was the Chinese teacher for ten years at Aidan Montessori School. Minfang would like to pass on her passion for learning and worldly curiosity she gained in her own studies to her students. To that end, she strives to create a class environment that encourages students to apply their own interests as avenues for learning Chinese.
We are so excited to welcome Minfang to the Whittle School & Studios community as a Lower School Faculty member.
Q: What are your hobbies/interests/specialties?
A: I love painting and playing the piano when I am inspired. I also like to apply my painting skills to refinish old furniture. I don't have any professional training for the above hobbies, but I enjoy the process and the satisfaction of trying something new.
Q: What inspired you to teach?
A: After studying abroad, I gained a deep appreciation for learning about people and their culture through language and conversation. I came to realize that being a language teacher, I could light that same spark in children, by giving them practical skills that will help them in the real world, but will also give them a greater curiosity in the world around them. I love teaching children, I find myself humbled and curious when I work with them. The joy of teaching for me isn't only to educate, but also to learn from my students. Seeing the hope for the future from a younger generation is what inspires me to teach.
Q: What cool project or field trip do you enjoy with your students?
A: One of the cool projects that I created was one where my students learn the idea of pictographic Chinese characters by illustrating a picture where they transform Chinese characters into an actual object that describes a season or a landscape, and what people do in nature. One of the cool field trips I enjoyed with my students was after learning about Chinese cuisine by making dumplings and noodles in the classroom, I took my students to go on a scavenger hunt in a Chinese grocery store. Another year, I took my students to an authentic Chinese restaurant to taste northern Chinese food and to speak to the Chinese staff in the restaurant.
Q: If you were a Whittle student, which campus would you travel to and why?
A: If I were a Whittle student who had never been to Paris, that's certainly where I'd go. I'd like to experience the art of living and the beauty that are deeply woven into everyday life in France. I personally had a very different view of French people before living there, and I came away with a completely different view of what's important in life after spending time there.
Q: What is a memorable experience from your own education?
A: I have several teachers in my life as a student who went the extra mile to get to know me and to let me know that they acknowledge my hard work. The most memorable lesson I had was an art history class in the French language school I attended in Angers, France. I was so moved by the teacher that I thanked her for giving her professional and objective view of the artists and their work with very thoughtful instruction. She was so good at stirring in her students a desire to learn more that I would spend most of my time after the class in a library studying French and doing research on the artists we spoke about in class. Teachers like her are my role models when I teach.
Minfang Zou Maguire is just one of our faculty members passionate about igniting global education in the lives of our students. Keep an eye out for more opportunities to get to know our teachers, or attend one of our upcoming events to meet our team and learn more about our mission.