Ceinwein King-Smith

“I’ve been to China twenty-two times, twenty for teaching English and once was to teach Russian, I think, though I’m not absolutely sure, I’m the only blind American teacher to teach Russian in China.”

I was born near Chicago, Illinois. I went to Stanford University, followed by a year in Poland studying Chinese and Russian. Then I got my Masters of Education at Harvard, before returning to Pittsburgh where I eventually went to Community College of Allegheny County in order to get certification in mathematics, because at the time I was trying to find a job teaching Russian. I was told that the Board of Education didn’t need a Russian teacher. I ended up having to sue the school board. This was way back before the Americans with Disability Act. I happen to be totally blind.

After years of legal maneuvering, the board was forced to give me an oral interview, which of course they said I failed. They had decided already that I was going to fail. Finally, they settled out of court. It took 13 years, during which time I was teaching Math at various private schools. I was given a job teaching English as a second language at Connelley Technical Institute and Adult Education Center, which unfortunately is now closed. I taught there for 22 years and was extremely happy in that position. I loved working with people from other countries. In fact, I’ve been to China 22 times. 20 times were for teaching English and once was to teach Russian, I think, though I’m not absolutely sure, I’m the only blind American teacher to teach Russian in China.

 

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