Welcome to Oakland Catholic, Lin Lao Shi!

Dallas Mercurio '20, Magazine Editor

This year Oakland Catholic welcomes a new Chinese teacher, Mrs. Joyce Krall, or as her students call her, Lin Lao Shi. Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with the new OC teacher, and learn a bit more about her and her interesting life.


Where did you grow up? And if you aren’t originally from Pittsburgh, how did you make your way to Pittsburgh?

I am from Taiwan, the Republic of China, then we moved to the United States because my husband is originally from Pittsburgh.

Do you like Pittsburgh?

I like it, yeah, although I don’t like driving in the snow. It’s a busy city, but not too busy, and there are so many friendly people.

What inspired you to pursue a career in teaching?

My daughter was the reason. I never thought I would be a teacher until I had my own daughter, because my first degree was in business. My husband encouraged me to pursue a career in teaching so I could teach my daughter.

Have you always wanted to be a teacher?

No, I was a business major, and I wanted to become a secretary, or a flight attendant. Being a flight attendant is a very good job in Asia, because of the respect one gets, you get to travel all over the world, and I like to dress well. I was hired by the Singapore airline but my father didn’t want me to go.

What do you think is the hardest thing about learning another language is?

To learn another language, I think it is really important to stay over in the country which speaks the language you are trying to learn. For example, to study Spanish you must stay in Spain or Mexico, one year at least. It’s hard to say this because no one wants to leave their house to go to a strange new place with a strange new culture, but it is really important. Learning another language is also about pushing yourself to become stronger, more independent and to learn how to be alone.

Why do you think it’s important to learn Chinese or another language?

I really think each person should learn one Asian language and one Western language. Since the grammar is so different, it really exercises your brain. If you have the environment to practice it enough it isn’t as hard.

Have you or do you teach anywhere else besides OC?

In the afternoon I teach at Manchester Academy Charter School and every day I have private students who I teach- 3 adopted girls from China.

What would someone be surprised to know about you?

I’m wild! Every weekend when I was young, my friends and I would get together and do karaoke. And when I lived in Taiwan, every Sunday morning I used to climb mountains, like actual mountains. We had a team, two girls and sometimes my husband. I miss climbing, it was very fun.

Is there anything that you would like the student body of Oakland Catholic to know about you?

I enjoy educational suggestions from teachers and students. I always like to update and learn about new teaching styles, so that I can learn what works best for my students, to be the best teacher I can be.