Liu Ting, one of 25 instructors who will teach Mandarin Chinese to Bibb County public school students this year, marveled at Macon’s architecture, met new friends and took a trip to Wal-Mart.
Along with buying bedding, food and other basics, Liu, 25, also had a brand-new experience on her first day in Macon: using a self-checkout machine for the first time.
“I never tried it,” she said. “It’s interesting. We (found) something new here.”
The teachers will provide Mandarin Chinese instruction three times a week, 20 minutes at a time, to students in pre-K through the third grade this year. The system plans to roll out Mandarin Chinese instruction to all Bibb students by the 2015-16 school year.
Bibb County is working through Kennesaw State University’s Confucius Institute to get the teachers in Bibb’s classrooms. In all, 38 teachers are working in Georgia public schools through Kennesaw’s program this year. In addition to the 25 in Bibb County, the other 13 teachers work in Hall and Cobb counties.
Ken Jin, director of the Confucius Institute at Kennesaw State University, said the Chinese teachers in Macon have been greeted with hospitality, and people they met Wednesday were friendly and curious.
“They have (had) a wonderful experience so far,” Jin said Wednesday.