Teacher-Student Jane Hall Brings Energy to Theology, Mandarin Classes

Josephine Sullivan, Staff Writer, Journalism I

“I’m like a sponge. I just want to absorb new information,” said Jane Hall, theology teacher at Notre Dame Academy. Mrs. Hall brings positive energy not only to the class she teaches but also to the Mandarin class she takes at NDA.

Mrs. Hall attends a level four Mandarin class, taught by Mrs. Zhang. Mrs. Hall explained that her experiences of being back in the classroom learning have shaped her to become a better teacher.

Mrs. Hall decided she wanted to take Mandarin after her trip to Japan to visit international students she and her family had hosted while she was in high school.

Mrs. Hall always had such good memories with her international brothers. Their memories are filled with lots of laughter, and Mrs. Hall explained that they had all become lifelong friends.

Mrs. Hall’s host brothers invited her and nine others to Japan for a week. The entire trip was paid for by the host brothers to return the kindness they had received from Mrs. Hall and her family in high school.

“All the laughter and stories came back. It was just like we were in high school,” said Mrs. Hall. The trip is what inspired her to start to learn an Asian language.

“It started off with my just going and sitting in Mandarin class to observe every once in awhile during my prep hour,” said Mrs. Hall. Now Mrs. Hall takes class like any other Mandarin student would. She even takes a final exam with the class.

Although Mandarin and Hebrew scriptures are two completely different courses, Mrs. Hall can still learn about teaching her class from being a student in Mandarin.

“I find that it makes me a more sympathetic teacher,” stated Mrs. Hall. Mrs. Hall explained that in her theology classes she feels more comfortable and had forgotten what it was like to be in a classroom learning new information that is outside of one’s comfort zone.

Mrs. Hall realized how stressful it is for students to give presentations to their peers. Mrs. Hall explained that being in the same position as the students in class really humbled her.

Although it is very difficult to manage time with studying and grading papers, Mrs. Hall always puts forth full effort into her theology and Mandarin classes. She inspires all the students she works with to achieve their personal bests.

“She has always been a really positive influence to the class. She always makes the things we learn in class more fun,” said Molly Schneider, a student in Mandarin IV with Mrs. Hall.