Many people know that Chinese characters are pictographs, but, surprisingly, they only make up around 5% of all Chinese characters. Phonetic-semantic components, on the other hand, make up almost 80% of all characters. Funny that most material online and in textbooks tend to focus on the former and not the latter. Indeed, most textbooks Ms. Mao has seen give at most a few lines defining what phonetic-semantic compounds are. In recent years, Ms. Mao has been focusing on teaching Phonetic-semantic components concepts to her students, which have elicited huge learning results. Students no longer memorize characters randomly. Instead, they try to figure out the semantic and phonetic components of the characters. While learning these Chinese characters, students are also leaning so much Chinese history and culture at the same time. They also feel pronounce Chinese character are not that difficult any more.
The students who nominated Ms. Mao were impressed by her creative storytelling, relating Chinese characters to ancient China and their root meanings. Congratulations Ms. Mao on your creative approach to teaching Mandarin.