Wang also had to recover from the jet lag of a 12-hour time difference between her home in China and her new home in Richmond, Ky. But she's taking it all in stride.
"They (administrators and other teachers) have given me a very deep impression," she said. "They are nice to me, and have told me what I should do."
There are difficulties inherent in moving somewhere new, even if that somewhere is just across town. Wang's journey has taken her halfway around the world, and although she has faced challenges already, inevitably more will spring up in the years she will spend here.
But Wang, who changed her name to "Wu Bo" in middle school to establish her identity as a strong woman, seems to have the tenacity to handle it. When her younger brother drowned, her parents were left with five daughters, and she decided to leave her common Chinese first name behind.
"The 'Wu' means I like kung-fu movies and Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee, and the 'Bo' means I want to have some experience to get more knowledge from others," she said. "I want to be strong to make my parents happier - Wu is like a son's name."
She chose her American name, Jane, after the title character of the Charlotte Bronte novel "Jane Eyre."
"I like her because she is stronger than any (other) people, she grew up in her aunt's house and got beatings from her cousin, and she's just strong," she said. "And she's also a teacher."
Wang also has the support of principals, teachers and Bernhard, who she calls "my mom."
"We have the same philosophy of life, we share the same ideologies, and we talk about the same things," Bernhard said. "As an adult, China to me is still very foreign, and now China is not so foreign anymore. We have a relationship like a mother and daughter."
Wang, who taught middle school English in China, said she has noticed differences in the teaching methods used in the United States. Chinese schools place more emphasis on lessons, while American schools incorporate more activities alongside traditional lectures, she said.
"Students (in the United States) are so active, and (they use) activities to learn," she said. "And they behave well."
Chinese middle school students attend classes from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., Wang said, and high schoolers are at their desks even later. In China, Wang taught three classes each day, but here she teaches six, split between Clark and Conkwright Middle schools.
"It's much more (difficult) on my throat," she said. "Because I'm talking and talking."
Sharing and educating
Students at Clark Middle will attend Wang's class every day for nine weeks, while those at Conkwright Middle will have the class once a week for the entire year.
Just a week into teaching classes, Wang has introduced students to the Chinese zodiac, the Chinese New Year and other festivals, and she hopes they will know 100 sentences of Chinese by the end of their study.
"They're being exposed to the culture, the language, and if nothing else, it gives them a big appreciation of the difficulty of a foreign language, and the great things that come from the Chinese culture," said Pam Whitesides, principal at Clark Middle. "We know they are not going to be fluent in Chinese, but it's certainly a lifetime experience."
Chinese can be tough for native English speakers. Standard Mandarin has four main tones used to distinguish words from one another, just as English speakers use consonants and vowels.
"The Chinese characters and the tones are hard for them to pronounce," Wang said. "So I just make them review many, many times."
Wang has earned teaching certificates for both high school and middle school in China. She studied at a university and had to pass exams to become a teacher.
"All the teachers that have come are the cream of the crop," Bernhard said. "They are all so highly qualified - it's not like these are new teachers who are coming to learn."
Wang submitted her name to the education department in her province about six months ago, and was chosen by Hanban, the Office of Chinese Language Council International, to come to the United States.
"You prepare this, and you prepare that," she said. "It's a lot of things."