Connie Gibson: English Teacher at Jiangxi Normal University for 15 years
Connie Gibson, author, international speaker, and award-winning English professor, taught for the Foreign Language College at Jiangxi Normal University in Nanchang, Jiangxi, China for 15 years, from 2000-2015. She was the recipient of China’s National Friendship Award, Jiangxi’s Mt. Lushan Award and several other awards including one created for her – The “FLTRP – Outstanding Contribution to English Learning in China Award” and others.
Professor Gibson, known as “ConnieMom” throughout China, was a very unique teacher with a different style of teaching. She used task and project-based lessons, team or group work, discussions and activities, encouraged creative and critical thinking skills as well as communication in English writing and speech.
After a 6 year battle with cancer, Connie went to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on May 11th, 2017. Her memory and legacy continues on in the lives of her family, friends, and students.?
Connie’s Stories in China
One day in 2000, Connie was reading a magazine, and the advertisement of ELIC, which was published in the magazine, recruiting Chinese teachers attracted her attention. Suddenly, she felt a voice calling her. “Going to China!” Almost without thinking, Connie made her own decision. She immediately called the company, filled out a form and sent out. When Connie told her family and friends about this decision, Connie’s mother was furious and many people tried to dissuade her. Connie insisted on her own choice, and came to this far and fascinating country.
Connie was placed to teach at Jiangxi Normal University. In her initial impression, Nanchang is not the same as she imagined. The streets of the city are small and messy because of the chaotic parking of cars. People litter. But Connie felt the new changes in the city: “Almost overnight, I found that Nanchang became beautiful, the streets were lined with trees and there were colorful neon lights at night. My students told me that Nanchang government are mobilizing citizens to build garden cities, and now Nanchang’s greenery is everywhere. In the city plaza, people have demolished the old house and lived in a beautiful new house. There are more and more ‘foreigners’ like me. I like Nanchang.”
“You should be proud of your hometown, your school, and where you work!” Connie always said to the students. She specially made a few traditional Chinese suits and embroidered the words “Jiangxi Normal University”. She wore a homemade traditional Chinese suit and was active at the CCTV English speech contest. She was active in the Great Hall of the People accepting Premier Wen Jiabao’s awards.
She takes her students to participate in CCTV English Cup Speaking Contest many times, she always tell her students “Don’t worry about your competitor who are from famous school, and where are you come from, just do your best. (Reference: JXNews)
Even Connie Gibson got offers from many famous schools, she still consist to teach in Jiangxi. She says, Jiangxi is beautiful, the Jiangxi citizens are warm hearted, and she wants to be more students’ mom. There is a sentence on Connie’s name card “Connie‘MOM’ Gibson, serving in China, Jiangxi Normal University”. Besides this, she spent a lot of time on teaching. When school leaders asked her needs, she answered “time !time”. (Reference: Sohu.com)
(Please note that ISAC re-post this article in order to let foreign teachers know more about teaching in China from others’ experience. Some of the information in the article might still hold true for now but not all)