05 July 2007

Bottom of the barrel

Today I am teaching at my favorite kindergarten. There are many reasons I like it, but the main thing that sets it apart is how much better it is from the other schools I work at.

Compared to my other schools it is awesome here. I have freedom to teach what I want and how I want. There is more freedom over time and everyone is generally more flexible. As long as the kids are happy everyone is happy. That is not the case at my other kindergartens. It seems all they care about is pleasing the principal and administration. I received a negative comment that I was not doing well because my communication with the principal at one kindergarten was not good. That was much more heavily emphasized than the very positive feedback from the children. So I suppose my purpose at that school is to teach the principal English.

I have gotten used to it over a year, and for the most part I ignore everyone other than the children. Afterall I am being paid to teach them, not adults. So imagine my surprise today at my favorite school, when during a conversation with another local teacher, she said that this was the worst school she had taught at. I didn't believer her, there was no way this school could be 'worst' in any way. She went on to describe how other schools had been, and it made me realize that for the most part, I am teaching at the bottom of the barrel.

It would make me extremely happy if next year this was the worst school I taught at. It's just funny how much of a gap there is here in kindergartens. And as I found out awhile back, all kindergartens in Hong Kong are privately run, so it is not a case of private vs. government run schools. This gap only gets worse in High-Schools. It's too bad, but in a city of such high-competition maybe it's a good thing kids get used to it when they are 5.

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