Experience & Activities
Matthew Grace, M.Ed. specializes in teaching languages in ways that help students develop long-term fluency. This means a focus on helping students develop an intrinsic motivation for learning the language. Time in Mr. Grace’s class is spent on gaining reading and speaking abilities through practicing having real conversations and reading real Chinese stories.
Mr. Grace has a B.A. in Economics from Auburn University and a M.Ed in Teaching English as a Second Language with an emphasis on technology in the classroom. He lived and taught in Thailand(2 years) and China(4 years) and now uses his experience and knowledge to teach Chinese in a way that enables students to grasp basic language ideas while also getting excited about the language.
Online Teaching Policies for Matthew Grace
Families will receive a full refund if they cancel at least 4 days before the start date and a half refund after that up to the end of the first week of class. The reason I don’t do full refunds up to starting time is that if you cancel too close to start time I don’t have the ability to fill empty spots left over after the student leaves.
(NOTE: Refunds made more than 30 days from purchase date will be docked a 10% administrative processing fee.)
I do not often need to cancel classes but if there are not enough students to hit my minimum then I will need to delay the start to try to gather more students or cancel it all together. The reasoning for this is that I am a full-time teacher and I need to make enough money to help support my family and do that in a number of hours of class that allows me to still actually see my family. I hope you can understand, it’s not because I am greedy or don’t like you! 🙂
Before we go over this here’s what you need to know. If you object to any of my participation rules for any reason please contact me and explain your situation. I am willing to adjust if parents need me to.
There are two things that lead to my rules on participation: 1. My understanding, supported by much research, is that students must interact actively with a language to be able to learn it. 2. This is not a class to just get a language credit with and not learn anything, I teach this class to teach the language to learners who are learning it. With that said, I do ask that all students are interacting in class with their microphone unmuted. There are a very few situations where I will ask for it to be muted:
- Excessive background noise(this should be temporary until the noise is moved or the student moves to a quieter environment)
- When I’m doing one of my very infrequent lectures
- When we are watching a video or song
Other than these reasons the audio must remain unmuted so that the class does not slow to a crawl with me asking people to unmute over and over to answer questions or converse.
For video I understand some people are uncomfortable having their video on. This must be something a parent tells me is ok. If that doesn’t happen then I require videos to be on as language is about interacting
Homework in my class is required. If I ask students to do something it’s not for giggles it’s because they need to reinforce what they have learned in class so they don’t fall behind.
Having said that, if the parent just wants their child to audit the class and get some basic intro to Chinese they should tell me that and I will not hold them accountable for homework.
Homework is not something that will be checked like normal homework as it can’t be done that way. We will be using the things we do for homework in each class so if the student is not doing the homework it will be evident in class.
I must follow the golden rule in all my behaviors with students and parents. That means I will treat you all as I would like to be treated. That means I will always look to accommodate when things are not going well or something has changed. It also means I will not slack off on the two sections below as I want students to be able to learn and feel safe in class. The specifics include but are not limited to:
- Make sure students understand how the virtual classroom works, especially when it comes to getting my attention
- Seek to provide materials for students who need other forms of practice than are usually provided.
- Be available to answer questions outside of class, usually within 24 hours but always within 48 hours.
- Feedback will be given in a constructive manner, emphasizing the important of mistakes in growing(the growth mindset).
Students are required to act in a civil manner towards other students and me, the teacher. That includes but is not limited to:
- Students must be wearing clothing that would be suitable for a physical classroom in the real world.
- Messages on the chat must remain on topic and students should not flood the chat box
- Students must refrain from any form of bullying, coercion and distracting behavior.
- Students are not allowed to share contact information except through their parents.
Things I have to do monthly or less often:
Students who disrupt the class in any of the ways mentioned under the “Student Behavior” section will be warned. If the behavior continues I will message the parent and if I do not receive a reply shortly after(which likely won’t happen if the parent is not staring at their phone) I will have the student put in the waiting room to cool down.
Things I have never had to do:
If this happens frequently I will require a parent/guardian to be with the student during class. If all of these avenues are tried and the student still will not comply I will allow the student to remain in the class and watch recordings but will not let them in the virtual classroom.
It is important to me that learners feel safe and supported in the classroom. It is also important that I have the ability to document and investigate any safety concerns. SEA records live sessions and stores them for a period of 12 months. These are not shared publicly or with other learners in the class (any make-up sessions will include a video summary without learner participation to protect learner privacy).
SEA may review these and I may share recordings with individuals (such as parents/guardians of involved participants) involved in the discussion of any classroom incident if necessary for a safety issue or a third-party (such as a charter school) as required by their safety protocols.
Get in touch with Matthew Grace