North Campus, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, March 28th, 2022: To enhance overseas teachers’ sense of honor and responsibility to participate in teaching, scientific research, social service and other work, fully arouse the enthusiasm and creativity to participate in the international construction of GDUFS, and create a working atmosphere of love and dedication, striving for progress and excellence, GDUFS held its annual election of “Outstanding Overseas Teachers” awards. Alison Mullins and other teachers were awarded the title of “Outstanding Overseas Teacher in 2020-2021”. They have consistently showed an exotic style on the lectern, and built a cultural bridge through their charismatic work. GDUFS specially planned its report on "Outstanding Overseas Teachers", and interviewed the overseas teachers and teachers from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan who have won that title. It was an opportunity to listen to their experience of learning and living at GDUFS. This shows the persistence and dedication of overseas teachers who devote themselves to educating and spreading culture.
Alison Rae Mullins is an overseas teacher from the International College Center for Foreign Language Training. She is primarily responsible for oral English teaching. As a young teacher, she’s highly praised by her students, for her flexible teaching methods and the informative in-class activities she designs, which can greatly stimulate students’ interest in learning and improve their will to participate in class. Actively cooperating with the college’s activities, Alison has served as a judge for English speech contests at Shenzhen Futian middle school many times with other teachers from the university.
“I love this job. It keeps me full of energy.”
When asked about the thought of becoming a teacher, she said, “since I was a child, the idea of being a teacher had already taken root in my heart.” While getting along well with her students, she shares her knowledge with others and satisfies their thirst for uncharted territory. This allow her to become a part of others’ lives and witness their growths. At the same time, as a young teacher, Alison is always enthusiastic and energetic in her career. Her vitality can always help to update herself and remind her of the original aspirations even if she’s getting busier and busier. What’s more, her enthusiasm can infect the students and stimulate their enthusiasm for English learning. Alison’s devotion for teaching is usually reflected in her preparation for work. Daring in the challenges, she sticks to innovation, always trying new activities, and attempts to get students to dabble in more topics. Though she’s still young, Alison is deeply engaged with the teaching of oral English. In consideration of her students’ lack of experience with spoken English class, she always gives them vivid descriptions to ensure that they focus on absorbing knowledge. "If I had an opportunity to make the choice again,” she said, “there is no doubt that I would still decide to be a teacher.”
“Diligently guide students and illuminate the bright lights in the fog for them.”
In addition to being highly praised for the quality of her teaching, Alison also guides students with her heart and soul, and devotes herself to stimulate her students' self-confidence. "By sharing some of your own experiences, you can let students put themselves in the same situation to enjoy the joy of success and gain confidence in the future." Alison explained. Having been a judge of speech contests many times, Alison has pondered self-confidence, which she considers crucial point to progress. She points out that, people even peers who have similar levels of ability will impress others more through a confident performance. Usually when students ask Alison for advice, she frankly encourages them to think and express themselves. In her opinion, teachers have the responsibility to foster students' minds and improve their critical thinking, comprehension and problem analysis. "Share your ideas bravely, then think about how to get better results, and you can do it." Alison said. Sometimes, to guide the confused students, Alison will share books she has read or her own experience with them.
“Innovate teaching methods and strive for excellence tirelessly.”
Alison has been very clear about her goals for the future. “One thing I really want to do is to teach in a more interactive way.” She said. She explained that in the international environment of GDUFS, the teaching environment is becoming more and more advanced. With its strong foreign language programs, the university can provide students many opportunities to integrate with the world. She would like to see more interaction and mutual learning between Chinese students and foreign students. Alison believes that this opportunity to draw on the strength of others will be highly beneficial. But she is far from blindly confident. “Sometimes I wonder if I can do anything more for them besides oral English teaching,” Alison said. Alison does her best to listen to students’ suggestions in an attempt to improve her teaching style. This process has also helped her discover her personal values.
Never losing her vitality, Alison’s love for teaching remains strong. Her striving for perfection has taken root at GDUFS, further contributing to the international atmosphere of the university. In the future, Alison will keep doing her best to contribute as the university writes its next chapter of excellence.