Tuesday, January 03, 2006

not an idle threat

I find this terribly amusing. A Taiwanese teacher, who I work with at the kindergarten, is leaving after the semester is over. She found a better job at another school. That is not the amusing part. That is a crappy part, because I really like Amy. She is super nice and treats the kids very lovingly, which is one of the reasons she is leaving. The principal thinks she isn't strict enough with the kids and he has been giving her a hard time about it. But, he actually cut her pay because of it. She said, the hell with this, and found another job. Now, I can't speak to all of Amy's teaching, because I only see one hour a day. But I think she is a really good teacher who would rather hug a child than slap his hands. In Taiwan, this is not a good thing. A lot of the parents want the schools to be very strict. Worse yet, grandparents will even come to the kindergartens and night schools and hang around the classes. They will even come into the classrooms and complain about a teacher. I have not had this happen to me, but I know people who have had it happen. Anyway, a couple of grandparents had complained about Amy's lack of discipline and are taking two of the kids out of her class. This was told to her after she found the other job. She has not told the school that she is leaving yet.

The last bit about the grandparents really pissed her off. Her children are pretty well-behaved, and she really felt this was insulting. So, in a moment of anger, she told the class that if they didn't behave and start acting better, she was going to leave. Rememember all those threats that parents make to children, like "I'm going to stop this car and go back to the house, and we won't have any vacation," or "I'm going to send you to the orphanage if you don't behave." Well, this was like that, except she is going to leave, and the children are going to have to deal with it. They will think that she left because they didn't start behaving.

When she told me this, at first I was a little shocked. I told her that she was going to give them a complex. But now I just think it is funny.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Scott said...

hi,
I'm also an American Teaching English in Taiwan. I've read through some of your blogs and your experiences remind me of my own. You put it into words better than I could so I'm going to start telling people if they want to know what my life is like then they should look at your blog.
Anyways, I found out a couple weeks ago that my boss isn't renewing my contract and I believe it is because I am not much for yelling at children. That is the only conclusion I can come to since they don't ever really tell you why they are firing you here. They are too afraid they will make you lose face to tell you if you're doing anything wrong. I was told once that I shouldn't let the students speak Chinese so much, but lord knows that is impossible to enforce at times.
Oh well, I'll go find a better job too.

10:59 AM  
Blogger englishteacher said...

hi, scott. where do you live in taiwan? you're right about the discipline, especially the bit about forbidding children to speak chinese. i think that is one of the dumbest rules. i teach english at a bushiban in the evenings as well as the kindy classes. i thank god that they are all pretty well-behaved.

9:07 PM  

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