Oh, how different it was teaching in Thailand. To think that there, I was invited to a dinner party where all of the teachers and the principal were getting wasted together (in front of several students, whose parents were staff members). And that classes were regularly cancelled in order to have celebrations or fun assemblies. It’s such a different culture compared to here, where there is a video camera in my classroom, and every move I make is written down by a secretary who is watching my class from some lonely office on the other side of the school.
Parents and schools are so darn worried about the kids “getting ahead”. Taiwanese kids generally will attend “cram schools” after school until 10 pm daily in order to get ahead in their educations. But then, how do they have time to develop in other ways? Emotional development, social skills, personal interests, rest and enjoyment… does nothing matter besides school? All I can think sometimes is that I’m glad I was provided the opportunity to become well-rounded. I try not to judge any culture, but I would be interested in hearing from someone who could explain why this is the right life to give a child. This post really devolved into something more serious than I thought it would be, but I’m glad I had the opportunity to get these concerns off my chest.