Ama a Dios, Ama a los niños, Ama aprender
Love God, Love Kids, Love Learning
Weibao Zhang – 4th & 5th Mandarin Immersion
Weibao (Way-baow), or Zhang Laoshi (Jahng La-ow-shur) as known by the students, is an energetic, kind teacher with a heart for the Lord. One of Weibao’s favorite things about teaching is the front row seat to his student’s academic and spiritual growth. He sees it as a privilege to guide them in their spiritual and character development. Weibao finds creative ways to connect with his students from playing sports at recess, to participating in cold water challenges and delivering ice cream rewards during the pandemic. A student shares, “He makes learning fun and he likes to play with us when we need a break outside. He likes to joke around and be silly and he tells us stories about what we are learning instead of just reading from books.”
Weibao grew up in Wenzhou, a city in southeast China with numerous churches. He shares that his great-great-grandmother received the gospel message from a missionary and he is thankful to have so many Christians in his extended family. He went to church as a child and dedicated his life to Christ in his first year of college. It is amazing to see how one life, one missionary, can impact many generations. May that also be true of us, that our influence and the influence of our children may have a Kingdom impact for generations.
As the father of four children, Weibao looks at the immersion program through the lens of both parent and teacher. “The most important thing in parenting is to teach children to love God and his Word. Instruct them to follow God’s laws. (Deut. 6:1-9) Kids who fear the Lord would not lack wisdom per the promise in Proverbs 9:10-12. This is my first priority as a Christian parent and Zeeland Christian serves as a guide and helper for families and for my own children who will be attending the immersion programs here at ZCS.”
Weibao sees the benefits of not only studying a different language but also understanding the expectations of a new culture. Mandarin is one of the most spoken languages in the world and is a gateway to understanding the Eastern hemisphere. These students are learning to think from a different perspective which will be advantageous in the future, potentially opening doors for careers and promotions. He wants to encourage parents who are considering mandarin, but concerned about learning English. He challenges us not to worry because they are immersed in the English language outside the classroom. Children’s minds are like a sponge and they are able to grasp languages so much easier at a young age.
The application of language goes beyond the classroom for Weibao. He sees that language is very important – it is unique in God’s creation. God created through the spoken word and also chose to communicate through language. In the creation, fall, and redemption narrative language has a key part in it. In Babel, the language is confused in order to move the people. Then in Acts 2:1-11, the reverse of Babel occurs when disciples are able to communicate and be understood by those of many different languages. God uses language for His glory and Kingdom so we should do the same.
泽兰基督教学校 – Escuela Cristiana de Zeeland – Zeeland Christian School is the only threeschool – 8th-grade school in the Midwest where your child can learn in a Christ-centered and tri-lingual environment where all abilities are welcome and celebrated. It’s what’s best for kids – and that’s what we’re all about.