Bei Dou Xing is assisting Hopkins Public Schools in finding host families for our guest teachers from China. This is a program that XinXing has been fortunate enough to participate in for several years, and the benefit to our school has been immense.
In order for us to continue our participation in this program, we must place the visiting teachers with host families for either a semester or the full year. The teachers arrive late August and stay through the end of the school year.
Below is an FAQ with common questions regarding hosting a teacher. Please feel free to contact Erika Pals at email@example.com if you have questions or are interested in an application.
Chinese Teacher Host Family Program FAQ
What is the Chinese Guest Teacher Program?
Each year, XinXing Academy works with the Minnesota Department of Education and the Confucius Institute at the University of Minnesota to bring 3 guest teachers from China to work with our program. The guest teachers work as intervention teachers for grades K-2, 3-4, and 5-6, providing small group and individual instruction to students who need academic support in Chinese reading and math. They are also able to substitute for classroom teachers when they need to be away from the classroom, allowing us to continue to provide quality instruction in Chinese with teachers that the students know well. The Hanban (Education Department in China) provides funding for part of their salary, and Hopkins provides a combination of salary, benefits, computer, school bus transportation to and from school, breakfast and lunch at school, and host families so that they can experience American culture first-hand.
Who are the Chinese guest teachers?
Our Chinese guest teachers are all certified teachers with at least 3 years of teaching experience in China. They speak some English and prefer to be in English-speaking households. They are eager to get to know American culture and the American educational system.
How long will a Teacher stay with our family?
It is preferable that teachers stay with host families for at least one semester. Semesters are defined as:
Semester 1: mid to late August through end of winter break*
Semester 2: end of winter break* until the end of the school year.
* If only hosting for one semester, host families will need to be flexible with timing as we switch to new host families due to winter break scheduling.
Host families may request shorter/longer stays or help during vacation/holidays – this can be worked out with the XinXing Host Family Coordinator. Please indicate any special family needs in the application.
What are the Host Family’s responsibilities?
The host family should welcome the guest teachers and treat them as part of the family, as much as the Teacher is comfortable being such.
Host Families Provide:
- A private room with adequate heat, light, ventilation and access
- Access to a bathroom, which can be shared by other household members
- Meals, except breakfast and lunch on school days, which the school covers. It really depends on the individual teacher – teachers may prefer to prepare their own meals or join the family during their mealtimes, or a combination of the two.
- Access to a telephone or help acquiring a cell phone
- Access to internet
- Access to laundry facilities
- House key
- Transportation to/from XinXing Academy during the normal school hours of 8:45am to 3:30pm. XinXing school bus transportation may be used by the teachers. Teachers may sometimes be required to stay after school to work with the XinXing.
What are reasonable expectations of a guest teacher?
- Taking cues from the teachers is important when establishing routines and expectations. Some teachers have previous international travel experience, while some have never been outside of China. Some enjoy spending time with their host family, others prefer to decompress after teaching all day.
- The teachers work full time at school, so they should not be expected to tutor or teach your students at home. However, the teachers are happy to answer questions about homework assignments if your student needs a bit of guidance from time to time. Many host families have commented on how wonderful it is to hear their kids speaking Chinese at home with their guest teacher. That is certainly a bonus of hosting!
- It is reasonable to expect the teachers to take care of their own hygiene, laundry and housekeeping needs.
- Teachers may need assistance in finding transportation for social outings. Some teachers are easily able to navigate the public transportation system and Uber/Lyft services, whereas others may require more guidance.
- Teachers are paid a salary stipend by Hopkins and will be able to pay their own personal expenses.
What are the benefits to hosting a teacher?
This experience will allow your family to develop a meaningful relationship with someone from another culture. Teachers will interact with your family, friends and neighbors, creating international friendships and cultural understanding on a local level. Your memories will last a lifetime!
It provides the opportunity for your family to learn about another country and culture through food, music and personal interaction with your guest.
The guest teacher program allows you to support our school and help to create a rich, engaging immersion language program. By volunteering your home, you are allowing many students to benefit from the work of the guest teachers.
Finally, hosting a guest teacher allows you to learn about yourself and your culture and see the U.S. through the eyes of an international visitor, creating an invaluable educational experience for yourself and your family.
How do I volunteer to be a host family?
Request an application by contacting Erika Pals at firstname.lastname@example.org. Interested host families will be contacted to schedule home visits before making final decisions.