Mah's Helping Hand


Mah Jongg Teachers – Quick Read! My Q&A with Debbie Barnett

Debbie Barnett is highly regarded as a knowledgable leader in the Mah Jongg community. She is the author of the book, Unlocking the Secrets of American Mah Jongg, the creator of the Online teaching school, School of American Mah Jongg. Debbie is the “Teacher” for the FB Group called, Mah Jongg -Ask the Mah Jongg Teacher. Her opinion and experiences with our Mah Jongg Highlighters are a true testament of how useful and helpful they are to her, as a Mah Jongg teacher and to the many students she teaches in person and online.


As a Mah Jongg teacher, how would you say our Mah Jongg Highlighters assist you while teaching?


Prior to using the Highlighters, when I was teaching students and we were at the point of forming hands, I’d have to remember 2-3 hands which I’d keep track of, for each of them. That was a total of 8-12 Hands. Although I was able to remember all of them, as crazy as that seems, it took time to point each hand out over and over again, because they would keep forgetting. Understandably so, as they had a hard time remembering all the rules yet alone forming the hands, the hardest part of all. Before the use of the Highlighters, unnecessary time was spent pointing out their hands, which took away valuable learning and teaching time for both me and the students.

Now that my students use the Mah Jongg Highlighters, I am able to place them down on the hands, two to three Highlighters for each student, preventing the unnecessary time pointing out their hands over and over again.

Now, they can easily spot and keep track of the hands themselves.  As the students’ hands are narrowed down to one or two, the Highlighters are removed and placed behind the card. Once my students become more adept at forming hands, I teach them to place the unused Highlighters on nearby hands. This creates a decoy so an advanced opponent will likely be unclear about which hand they are actually playing.

The Highlighters have made my job as a teacher so much easier. I would never again teach without them. 


How would you say our Mah Jongg Highlighters assist your students?


To begin with the Highlighters help my students know exactly which hands they are playing. Once they have completed my beginner classes they can immediately begin to play with confidence as they utilize the Mah Jongg Highlighters during game play. They will play with more self-assurance while effortlessly keeping track of their hands allowing them to focus more on solidifying the rules and nuances of the game. 

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