Ron Tenur: 2009-2016
I have been principal here for the past five years and enjoy my work very much. Like any administrative job , it has its ups and downs. Working here at this school has been a joy and thus the reason for my staying here this long. The staff has been very supportive of me and they give me 100% all the time.
All of my teachers are accredited teachers from Canada and approved by the Nova Scotia Department of Education. The Chinese education system differs greatly from the Canadian system and melding both of them together makes for an interesting mixture. Our students come from a wide range of backgrounds and are very respectful of this Canadian system. The teaching and living facilities are very adequate and good. The respect by both Chinese teachers and students is astounding. Plus the helpfulness they give to me and my teaching staff is commendable. In general this has been a very positive and enjoyable experience for me and is one of the reasons why I have remained here so long.
Brandon Tenur: 2010-2015
Being a teacher at SCC has been a great experience for me. SCC promotes and inspires learning in a warm and caring environment. The Canadian curriculum at SCC is organized to promote quality education for learners. Students are getting a strong education foundation to further their study in Canada. The school allows me to put my Canadian teaching skills into practice. This allows me to explore my teaching creativity and help maximize learning for every students in my class. It has been an amazing experience both for me and my students.
Jocelyn Tenur: 2013-
The students studying in the Sino-Canadian program at Shenyang No. 2 High School are academically exceptional. They are highly motivated and strive for excellence in all aspects of their studies. While cooperative, experiential and inquiry-based learning are difficult for the students to grasp at first, these students do come to appreciate the intellectual rigor of the program. Another unique aspect of this program is that the Canadian staff work collaboratively with the Chinese staff. Each Canadian teacher works closely with their Chinese subject counterpart in order to ensure that the students develop a good understanding of the course objectives and outcomes. As a teacher, this teaching environment enables you to experiment and refine your teaching toolset.
Living in China is an adventure. This country has a lot to offer for both the novice and avid traveler from the natural wonders of Yunnan to the cosmopolitan flare of Shanghai to the historical grandeur of Beijing. The tastes of China are equally spectacular from the spiciness of Sichuan cuisine to the freshness of Cantonese food. China is home to dumplings, noodles and so much more.
Gabriela Tenur: 2013
On a quiet spring afternoon, two years ago, I received a call that changed my life as a teacher. I was doing occasional teaching at that time; it wasn’t something that a high-tech professional with a background in math, physics and technology would be happy.
I didn’t hesitate when I was asked if I am interested in teaching Mathematics in China; over the last 30 years the Chinese students have been dominating the International Mathematical Olympiads with an astonishing number of 134 gold medals in 29 participations.
I was not disappointed and I signed the contract for a second teaching year.
The teaching conditions are excellent; the classrooms are equipped with interactive whiteboards, high speed wireless internet, there is an English library, a resource room, a computer lab and printers, all for us and our students. The access to the copier machine is unlimited and the service, provided by qualified personnel, is very fast.
Our students are motivated, enthusiast and very polite. Class discipline is not an issue. We have supporting Chinese staff who are very kind and happy to help us in any situation. The leadership of the SCC school is also very supportive and carrying, with just the right balance of supervision, directions and freedom to choose how to implement the Canadian curriculum in the classroom.
I like the generous, bright spaces in our school, and the vast school yard which is more like a park; the school is placed in a quiet area, and our residence is at only 10-15 minutes walking distance.
My Canadian colleagues are excellent people, well qualified and willing to share their expertise. I never felt alone or isolated.
Teaching in China has been one of my happiest moments in recent time; it gave me a lot of satisfaction, and a sense of fulfillment. The only regret is that I didn’t know about this program earlier.
“Seek knowledge even if you have to go as far as China” is the oldest reference to China that I can remember. In the part of the world where I grew up, this proverb is so widespread that the first family member I informed about my plan to go to China said to me: So you are going to seek knowledge (wisdom) after all. And I guess I am.
When the opportunity to come teach in China materialized, I could not possibly refuse it so I embraced it wholeheartedly. I was elated, yet terrified. The elation I felt is still with me, but the terror did not last long. As soon as I came out of the Shenyang airport I was met by Mr. Ron Naud, the Canadian Principal accompanied by Mr. Roy Zhang, The Chinese Director, and by Mr. Steve Anderson, the Chemistry teacher. The hug that Ron gave me made feel right at home and that helped dissipate my terror.
From then on, I received all the help I needed to get settled, to secure the residency permit, a cellular phone number and a bank card. The apartment is a mere 10 minute walk from the school and there is no stress getting to work on time.
After twenty winters spent in Canada, I can say that the winter of 2014-2015 had been the most clement. Sure, walking along Jong Jie when the Siberian (?) wind is blowing can be skull-chilling, but I will make certain I am wearing a Siberian “shapka”.
As all colleagues teaching at Shenyang No 2 High School will tell you, the students are very good. From my own point of view, these are the best students I have ever had the privilege to teach to. Sure enough, I have one reproach to address to some of them: They are too shy to speak in English, and when asked a question, their answer is often inaudible. When that happens, I usually ask the whisperers to step to the front and write their answer down. More often than not that does the trick.
Reflecting on the time I have spent at Shenyang, I acknowledge that it has been a very happy time for me: I have rediscovered that teaching to a naturally attentive audience can be a stress-free and rewarding experience.
I am looking forward to returning to Shenyang next year. When the time comes to pack my luggage, I will stash a few sturdy 3-ring binders, reams of letter size paper, my favorite references for the subject I will be teaching (hard-copy versions or scanned pdf files), a light 3-hole puncher, and one or two electrical adapters for my computer. The usual stuff for a teacher.
Teaching in China has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my teaching career. The decision to move from Canada to China was not an easy one for me to make, but I’m very glad that I chose to come here. I am very fortunate to be teaching Pre-Calculus and Calculus this school year. I am very impressed by the students’ commitment to learning and their appreciation and respect towards teachers.
The students in this school are conscientious and take studying very seriously. Due to the calibre of our students, there are minimal discipline issues in the classroom. Working here has allowed me to try a variety of teaching techniques in my classes, and I am looking forward to executing new approaches during the next school year. I am truly honoured to work in such a positive and supportive atmosphere - with both colleagues and students - where I can continually grow and become the teacher that I’ve always aspired to be.
I have found teaching at SCC to be an edifying experience both professionally and personally. Professionally I have learned much from my students and through comparisons, by the students, between the Chinese educational structure and the Canadian or North American structure.
This is my fist year teaching at SCC and the students are helpful, respectful and very motivated to grow and develop as learners and individuals. The environment at the school allows you to get to know and understand the students better, with enough time to provide tailored instruction and assistance when it is required.
At first the Sino- Canadian program here is a little difficult for the students to adjust to. Here the focus is less on memorization, which the students excel at, and more about creative thinking processes, which are important for living and studying abroad or attending university.
The staff and faculty is amazingly well developed and the feeling of teamwork and cooperation are fostered in no small part by our principal. This is a wonderful place to work and is a great place where I have been able to expand my personal philosophy on education and learning processes.
I feel that traveling abroad expands one’s mind and opens us up to new experiences and new perspectives, traveling in China as well as the other places I have visited previously, including Europe, Korea, Australia, Greece, Turkey have helped to broaden my understanding of humanity and myself .
This is my second year teaching in China, but my first year at Shenyang No. 2 High School. I love my job and getting to interact with such disciplined and engaged students. Working with them in both Grade 10 Drama and Science has provided me with a unique opportunity to help them develop a variety of skills both personally and academically. The students have also helped me grow as a teacher because they are so adventurous in the classroom and are willing to try almost anything with me.
Initially I was very hesitant to move to China, since I am from a very small town, but living in China has been a constant adventure. During my time here I have had many opportunities to travel and learn some of the millions of amazing things China has to offer. It seems each time I travel, instead of getting smaller; my list of destinations gets bigger. There is always something else to see!
Teaching in China is never boring. Students spend a lot of time adjusting to the Canadian Education system and adjusting to speaking English. One important idea that students’ come to grips with is that “different does not mean wrong” and that ideas need support. Seeing this learning process in action is highly rewarding.
Living in China presents many opportunities for travel and learning about cultures other than my own. China is a beautiful country with many sights and landmarks to see. Travelling the country is valuable because it allows for time for personal reflection and growth.f
The living accommodations are functional and only 10 mins away from the school, which is very convenient. I have enjoyed eating the food at the school, appreciated the variety of Chinese dishes they serve, especially the warm soy milk we get in the morning. Very tasty!
On the weekends, we are about 1.25 hour away from the city by bus or 0.75-1 hour by taxi. There are many things to visit, explore, and buy such as imports like Peanut butter, coffee, spaghetti sauce etc.
This year I was assigned to teach Drama 10 and English 11. Drama 10 is very hands-on and requires a lot of participation, which students are not accustomed to here, but slowly they adapted and enjoyed the interaction. The class was a great joy to teach.
A great aspect of teaching overseas is that we have the opportunity to travel around China. Already I’ve visited more than 10 cities in my short time here. The best part is getting to try all sorts of different foods!
Nashira Tenur: 2013-2014
As someone who has long dreamed of visiting China and experiencing its culture and history firsthand, it is amazing to find myself walking those very streets today. It was a difficult decision to come here and leave family and friends behind, but the satisfaction I get from doing what I love is incredible.
I’ve been teaching in various capacities for almost 7 years and completed an Honours B.A. in Creative Writing at York University and a Bachelor of Education in English at the University of Toronto. I was an editor of a literary journal for several years and have had two chapbooks of poetry published in Canada. I continue to do freelance editing and copywriting while in China and have been able to balance everything well so far. This is due in no small part to the support I receive from the excellent teachers I work with in the Sino-Canadian program and from our principal Ron who works tirelessly to ensure we have everything we need.
While it is true that the students here struggle in some ways to adjust to a “Canadian” classroom, one would be hard-pressed not to adore them. Their diligence, enthusiasm, and eagerness to learn is refreshing and I genuinely look forward to seeing their faces every day.
Antonio Tenur: 2013-2014
My name’s Antonio Sarno and I graduated with an (Hons) B.A. in English Language and Literature from the University of Western Ontario a long time ago. A wide variety of adventures and jobs in the “real world” followed over the next 7 years, and then I decided to return to school and train to be a teacher at Nipissing in North Bay. Eventually I got a full time position, but after 11 years of teaching high school English in Ontario I decided to live and teach overseas, and I’ve been doing that for the past decade. Korea, Malaysia, Venezuela, and now China---all have been fascinating places and experiences. Despite the different challenges posed by students in these countries, there’s been one key similarity: they’ve been a true delight.
The students in the Sino-Canadian Program here at Shenyang #2 High School have earned my respect because of the extremely difficult set of academic circumstances they face: classes in both Mandarin and English, long (very) school days, a ceaseless stream of tests and exams, etc. They succeed because they’re eager to learn and willing to work hard, and that makes teaching the pleasure it should be rather than the job it often is. I’ll be here for a while.
Colin Tenur: 2007-2012
Hello my name is Colin and I am in my 4th year teaching at Shenyang No. 2 High School. I teach Grade 11 Canadian History and English Literature. Previously I have taught Grade 10 Math, English, ESL and Advanced Grammar. I enjoy teaching very much and my family and I like living here in China. My wife Jessica, our two young daughters, Fiona and Alethia and our young baby boy Kieran all live in Shenyang. I am certified to teach in the state of New York as well as in the provinces of Nova Scotia and Ontario. I have been a teacher for six years. Furthermore, I have employment experience in both the business world and the not-for-profit sector. I believe the Sino-Canadian program is an excellent program for preparing Chinese students for studying abroad.
However, it was an adjustment teaching here in China. Chinese students are very good at memorizing (which helps with studying History) but have had to learn to think more creatively in our Sino-Canadian classes. I also think when they enter our program in-class group work is a newer experience for them. Not only have I needed to adjust to the students, but Chinese students have needed to adjust to us foreign teachers. We do things differently. For example, classroom management is a skill I developed in Canada while substitute teaching for 2 years. In China the challenge is not in disciplining students but engaging the students, especially those who are struggling in developing their English language skills. I have learned to speak more slowly and clearly, to repeat myself more often and to offer extra help to those students who need it. I think Sino-Canadian program is a great program because of the superb staff (both Chinese and Canadian) that I work alongside of each day. That’s why I come back here to teach each year!
We are now in our fourth year teaching at Shenyang No.2 High School Sino-Canadian Program and I really enjoy working here. When I first moved to China I didn’t know what to expect but the school staff was very friendly and helpful at helping me and my wife to adjust to live and teach in Shenyang. The students in the Sino-Canadian Program are charged with the difficult task of studying all of their courses in their second language. The students work very hard and many of them have become very successful. The student body as a whole are a good natured group of hardworking students. They are very respectful to their teachers and usually always have their work completed. Overall, I have been pleasantly surprised by the school and the experience of being a teacher at Sino-Canadian Program. It is a good environment for working and learning which is what makes us want to come back each year.
The opportunity to teach in China was unexpected, but has brought me many new and interesting experiences. After one year at Shenyang No.2 High School Sino-Canadian Program and several challenges, I really appreciate the staff at the school and the support system offered by our principal. Working together as a team to educate students at Sino-Canadian Program has been elemental to our success and school growth. The students are great and offer very few disciplinary problems, which is a nice change in comparison with typical North American classrooms.
Our apartments are nicely furnished and a comfortable ten minute walking distance from the school. We also get a good opportunity to travel around China with several holidays including a longer period of time off during Chinese New Year. I look forward to what the future of this year has in store.