Morgan Schrier ’22 Expands Chinese Skills by Teaching Fifth Graders

Morgan Schrier ’22 is a dedicated student of the Chinese language who chose to continue to learn after completing AP Chinese. This year, she has been assisting Hutchison Chinese teacher Lynn Tian in the classroom with her fifth-grade students. Outside of helping girls learn Chinese, Morgan serves as a member of Peer Council and Morgan mentors 8th- and 9th-grade students adjusting to upper school. She also is heavily involved in her Jewish youth organization.
One of the best ways to show that you know something is by successfully teaching it to someone else, especially if your students are beginners. Morgan Schrier ’22 is helping to teach Hutchison’s youngest students studying Chinese: fifth graders in Lynn Tian’s class. Morgan completed AP Chinese a year early and realized she wanted to continue growing her skills, so she worked with Hutchison faculty to find a way.  

During A block on Day 1 of Hutchison’s block schedule, Morgan heads to the classroom of Mrs. Tian, or Tian Lǎoshī since it’s Chinese class (老师 or “lǎoshī” means teacher in Mandarin). She speaks with Tian Lǎoshī ahead of time to figure out what she will be teaching. Since her students are in fifth grade, it has been basic Chinese vocabulary and sentences. Morgan’s lessons have included days of the week, class subjects, how to say names, and how to respond to introductory questions.

“It brought me back to when I was first learning Chinese, and it has helped me with my pronunciation. It has reminded me of the basics,” Morgan said. This fall, when she starts at Washington University in St. Louis, she will study Chinese as a minor and is considering studying abroad in China.  

Morgan visited China with Hutchison on a 10-day trip in spring 2019. She is pictured with Lily Rodenhiser ’22. 

Morgan got an early start in learning Chinese when she lived in New York; she moved to Memphis and started at Hutchison in the ninth grade. She said her Chinese classes at Hutchison helped her improve her speaking abilities. She also visited China with Hutchison on a 10-day trip in spring 2019. One of her favorite memories from that trip involved a market in Shanghai where fake designer goods were sold. Tian Lǎoshī and upper school Chinese teacher Hong Lin, challenged the girls to go to different vendors and see how well they could bargain for the same item. Morgan bought an imitation Gucci belt for her advisor.

“Lin Lǎoshī and Tian Lǎoshī are two of the most amazing teachers that I’ve had. They are incredibly supportive and excited that I want to take this path and continue to learn,” Morgan said.

That support extends far beyond just her Chinese teachers. Morgan described Hutchison as the most supportive environment she has ever been in. Her experiences at Hutchison influenced her decision to mentor younger students at the school.

“Hutchison is like an oasis. Everyone wants to see you succeed. If I had an issue or problem, there are 10 people I could name off the top of my head that I could go to in a heartbeat,” Morgan said.

When she moved to Memphis and started at Hutchison, she did not know anyone. Faculty connected her with students to help her get involved in different activities and make her feel comfortable. As a member of Peer Council, Morgan is paying it forward. She runs mentor groups for eighth-graders during the spring so they can prepare for upper school as well as incoming ninth-graders at the beginning of the school year to help them transition to Hutchison.

“I enjoy helping people feel comfortable. I want people to have the same incredible experience I’ve had,” Morgan said. “I felt supported by the people around me, and I wanted to do that for future freshmen.”

Morgan also serves as an ambassador for Hutchison through the Crest Society and is a member of the Gov Club, which has fueled her interest in political science. She is thankful for teachers who have shown her how to advocate for herself and for John Reynolds’ speech and debate class, where she got to hone her skills in speaking in front of an audience.

Public speaking was an important skill throughout her involvement in B’nai B’rith Youth Organization, or BBYO, an organization that connects Jewish teens all over the world through local and regional chapters. Morgan has served as a leader in BBYO on a local, regional, and international level. Most recently, she led recruitment and new member education for the Delta Region and helped plan programming for the International Convention in February. 

Morgan served as MIT Mom, or the vice president of membership and leader of recruitment and new member education, for the Delta Region of BBYO, which is comprised of chapters in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee.

In the fall, when Morgan heads to St. Louis, she plans to major in organization and strategic management. Morgan feels prepared to take on this challenge thanks to her time at Hutchison, where she said she learned independence, how to be comfortable in her identity, and how to advocate for herself. 

Read More