I was born and raised the Philippines. My parents were born and raised in China; after college they were hired from China to teach in Chinese immersion schools in Manila. My parents who were from different provinces of China spoke Mandarin (Putonghua) to each other. Hence I grew up speaking Mandarin but also the Fujian dialect which was the dialect of most Philippine-Chinese (and of my mother), and I also learned Zhuyin (Bopomofo) and learned to read and write traditional Chinese (up to high school). At that time, the Chinese immersion schools where my parents taught and where they sent their 4 children, provided parallel curricula in Chinese and in English so that the graduates had the option of attending college in the Philippines (where English has been the medium of instruction) or attending college in China or Taiwan. (I also learned Tagalog, the Philippine national language.) In 1968 my family immigrated to the U.S. It was the second immigration for my parents. Their 4 under-age childen came with them (I being the eldest). Years later, after a career in programming and systems analysis I was involuntarily retired when my tech job was outsourced, of all places, to the Philippines, an English speaking country. After retirement, in an effort to re-bond with my parents and bring my Chinese back up to speed, I offered to volunteer to be a Chinese language tutor by emailing SW Florida schools offering Chinese language, I was at that time living in Ft. Myers. One of these schools Sarasota Military Academy (a public charter high school) hired me part-time August 2009. I quickly learned simplified writing and Pinyin. I continued to teach there with increasing load until February 2012 when my father was hospitalized in Ft. Myers and eventually passed away. My mother decided to move back to New Jersey and I have come with her. I returned briefly to Florida this summer to finish the required work for a Florida teachers certificate and will explore additional requirements if any to obtain a New Jersey certificate. In the mean time, because of the uncertainty of my mother's situation, I wish for the flexibity of tutoring which I won't have with a school schedule.
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