Retirement opens doors for Shen

Veteran language teacher to leave DBHS, wishes to spend retirement years helping others.



Barbara Shen taught students about Chinese culture along with language skills.

Nia Mitchell, Business Editor

Beginning a new chapter in her life, Chinese teacher Barbara Shen will not be a Brahma for much longer.

Shen, who said she plans to retire at the end of this school year, has taught AP Chinese, Chinese 1 and Chinese 3 Honors as well as Regular at DBHS over the course of 17 years.

According to Shen, she feels that this point in her life is the best time for her to make this decision.

“Usually we think about retirement at the last two or three years, but sometimes to actually make the decision on when  to retire is another story and I think that now it’s a right time for me,” Shen said.

Shen said she has enjoyed the opportunity to teach at DBHS. She said that she will most miss the joy of teaching, and getting to see her students grow up and graduate.

Sophomore Stephanie Shih, who had Shen for Chinese 1, said that she enjoyed Shen’s unique way of teaching Chinese culture and language.

“I really liked how she influenced us and taught us different things on the Chinese culture,” Shih said. “Her approach to teaching was the one of the things that I liked most about her and what also set her apart from lots of other teachers.”

Aside from teaching her students about Chinese culture, Shen was also known to offer guidance to them about life principles in general.

She was known for her teachings of filial disciplinary regulations in parent-child relationships.

“To me, academics is something that kids either like or don’t like, but I think the thing that’s most important is life lessons especially for them,” Shen said. “This is the time that is best for them to make their life principles, how they look at things and how to make the right choices. Those are very important things for the kids to learn so I try to incorporate things like that in my teachings.”

Upon entering retirement, Shen plans to spend time doing things that will expose her to different opportunities and new beginnings.

“Right now I don’t know exactly my plan, but I’m probably going to find a long term residency and sell my house because my house is big and I need to find a place that’s the right size for me,” Shen said.

After she stops teaching Chinese, she plans to further her contribution to the world in other ways as well.

“I also plan on going somewhere and doing something interesting to benefit someone else,” Shen said. “I think I want to get involved in more charity work; I think it’s the time to start helping other people.”