The Apache Pow Wow

Thank You, Mr. Shen!

“It’s Teacher Appreciation Month, that time of the year for all of us to show our hard-working and influential teachers some gratitude. To celebrate this special occasion, the students of AHS would like to thank Mr.Shen personally for all he contributes to this school.

If you’ve ever been in Mr. Shen’s Chinese class, you are most likely aware of the many factors of his teaching style that make him such a great teacher. For starters, Mr. Shen never simply teaches a lesson. Instead, he is constantly going out of his way to find a more creative way to get his students interested in learning. Through unique assignments and projects, he is able to get students engaged in certain topics, in a way they wouldn’t otherwise be. He often does this by connecting his lesson to the real world, therefore allowing students to more easily understand and relate to the topic being taught. For example, there was one time when we were learning about Chinese culture. Instead of simply lecturing us about the topic, Mr. Shen assigned us a trip to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) to visit the attractions discussing Chinese traditions and art. Not only did this project broaden our view of life in China, but it also provided an interactive and fun opportunity to learn outside of class.

In addition, while we did learn a lot throughout the year, Mr.Shen’s class was rarely stressful. Throughout the chaos of a typical school day, his class always allowed me to uncoil, due to the relaxful classroom environment. He allowed us to eat and talk with friends, and he always ended the day with his famous saying, “Don’t work too hard,” reminding his students not to be so stressed in such a pressuring environment as AHS. However, even in such a relaxed environment, his class allowed students to be very productive in their work, so that time was never wasted.

Mr. Shen was also a very accessible teacher, connecting to the students through personal stories and relatable experiences. He constantly shared his own humorous personal stories, including his passion for Costco, allowing the students to easily get along with him. In addition, Mr. Shen was never unreasonably strict or unfair. Always willing to listen, he would always be very understanding if you had an actual problem that prevented you from submitting your assignment on time. With so many valuable characteristics in one teacher, it’s simple to shine a spotlight on Mr. Shen and all his enjoyable class. Not only does he deserve to be appreciated this month, but throughout the entire year.

Thanks for all that you do!” —Tiffany Liang, 12, Pow Wow, Academics Editor

“Going into the unfamiliar A-Building for the first time as a freshman, I was full of sweat, nervous, and oblivious to what was about to happen. I was taking a language test for the first time, and I was unaware to what to expect. Hundreds of other students of all classes were in the crowded hall ways in the same shoes as me, and it seemed like mayhem. However, I remember that there was one teacher who helped guide me to his classroom, helping me out with whatever questions that I had, and that was Mr. Caven Shen. The whole process of taking the test in his class had a very chill vibe, and that made test conditions a lot better and alleviated stress. Moreover, I did way better than expected on the exam. Going into the room, I was expecting to barely get into Chinese Two, maybe even falling to Chinese One as I had not practiced chinese for about a year. As it turns out, I had exceeded my expectations by quite some margin, as I made it into Chinese Three. When I saw that, I was really worried, as I had not taken a chinese class before and heard from upper classmen that it was the hardest class that they had ever taken in AHS. I was even contemplating if a B was achievable. Upon checking powerschool three days before school however, the name “Shen, Caven” appeared next to the Chinese Three slot, and I had a strange feeling that this class would turn out fine.

When the bell rang at 9:03 A.M the first day of sophomore year, I could already tell that chinese three would be something else compared to my other classes. The whole atmosphere and vibe was one different to all other classes, as I felt a lot more welcome and open to everyone. From day one, Mr. Shen enlightened the class with his hilarious personality, while also teaching us valuable chinese skills that I still use to this day. He also tried to make the class not solely test based, but also incorporated projects that allowed cooperation with other peers, which led to lasting friendships. Most importantly, he would be very understanding to any trouble that me or any of my classmates faced, and would try with the best of his ability to help us in any way.

Despite this, his class wasn’t easy by any means. I remember that, during first semester, I had a B for the longest time. This challenged me to work very hard and I would spend one to two hours everyday working to improve my chinese. Mr. Shen’s class pushed me to challenge myself to work harder than ever, which is why I saw my overall grades to improve in all areas. Not only did he challenge us to work harder, he also forced us to step out of our comfort zone, such as making us sing chinese songs and recite poems by ourselves in front of the class. His class definitely made me a better student overall.

Amazingly enough, Mr. Shen does this at the same time with his very funny and witty personality, which is another huge reason why this class was so enjoyable. He goes against the usual morals of the usual “Arcadian”, by preaching phrases such as “Don’t work too hard” or “Just let it go”. These phrases are things that, for most, are not heard of at all, and to hear this in a constant basis provides us with an escape from stress and a way to look at school in a different way. Through the tough days and other classes that I had to go through, I always knew that his class would be the chill class that I can look forward to. This class, thanks to Mr. Shen, was always one that I could always feel safe in. Overall, Mr. Shen has definitely been the most memorable teacher that I have had so far in AHS.” Bradford, 12, Pow Wow, Staff Writer

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Thank You, Mr. Shen!