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Meet our Extraordinary Chinese Teachers in Residence

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"39784","attributes":{"class":"media-image","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","alt":"Teachers in Residence"}}]]A version of this article first appeared in Indy's Child in August 2014.

A Chinese proverb says, "Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself."

Take Me There: China gives children a wonderful opportunity to literally and figuratively enter the exhibit (via a jet airliner) and take control of their own learning – but two extraordinary Chinese teachers help guide the way.

Art and tradition are central to Chinese culture. To give families and children a more authentic experience, the Confucius Institute of Indianapolis provided funding for two young teachers from China, who specialize in music, calligraphy, and Chinese as a second language, to come to The Children's Museum for one year to share their talents with visitors.

Meet Chen Lin and Ma Lan

Chen Lin is the museum's Calligrapher-in-Residence. Using everything from the tiniest of calligraphy brushes and ink to a giant brush and water to demonstrate "street" painting, Chen Lin draws delicate, complicated and beautiful Chinese characters. Find her in the Take Me There: China exhibit and she can show you and your children how to do it too.

  • Born in China's Guizhou Province
  • Speaks several languages and earned a Master's degree in Teaching Chinese as a Second Language
  • Chinese artistic skills include music, dance, paper-cutting, calligraphy, Chinese cooking and painting
  • Fun Fact: She LOVES the Indianapolis Colts. She watches the Colts through the internet while in China

Chen Lin on working at The Children's Museum:
"When you work in the museum, they pay you to learn! You learn a lot even when you’re just going through the museum to work. You will learn something by accident!"

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"39785","attributes":{"class":"media-image","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","alt":"Ma Lan Chen Lin "}}]]

Ma Lan is the museum's Musician-in-Residence. Like Chen Lin, Ma Lan's area of academic study is teaching Chinese as a second language, but her passion is traditional Chinese music. In the exhibit space, you will find her playing or demonstrating how to play the hulusi, a gourd flute, or the guzheng, a long stringed instrument. She will invite you to play them too!

  • Born in Huaibei, Anhui
  • Certified to teach Chinese as a second language
  • Chinese artistic skills include calligraphy, paper-cutting, Chinese music, Chinese cooking and Chinese knots
  • Fun Fact: She loves Breaking Bad and Spiderman movies

Ma Lan on working at The Children's Museum: 
"My favorite part in the museum is Dinosphere. These are real dinosaur bones! Kids here can really learn a lot. Not fake things, and not through glass. They can really touch it and see it and feel it."

When you visit Take Me There: China, be sure to look for our knowledgeable teachers. They love to talk and share stories about their culturally-rich home. You'll learn from them and they will learn from you. 

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Categories: China,
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