Well, over the past six years I’ve lived in China and taught English Language in few schools – kindergartens, primary/secondary schools, and a university. Out of all my employees, Kid Castle (an English Training School) occupied me with a lengthy contract which will forever be in my memory. The school is located opposite Shaanxi Normal University in Xi’an.
There are many other branches of this training school owned by different “entrepreneurs”. Mind my quotes, most of these owners operate with a franchise licence, so to say, but what brings them together is the brand and profits.
As a foreign teacher, no matter where or which school you work in, you are bound to experience the good, the bad, and the ugly.
We cannot pass and inconclusive judgement on Chinese people for the purpose of this writing. I was lucky enough to have worked with many kind and friendly teachers (WHITES, BLACKS and CHINESE) in this school. The owner, Mrs. Rebecca and her assistant, Mrs. Britney were totally understanding and humane.
It’s a pity that most African foreign teachers complain about so many problems most of which can be avoided or at least, reduced to the barest minimum. Let me explain in details:
- Colleagues: Some African teachers make life so hard for others through hatred and gossip in order to obtain favor from the management. By doing so, they become their brother’s enemies instead of “keepers”. Survival of the fittest, you may say, but whatever goes around comes around. In the end, they suffer for their deeds since no king can ever trust a sycophant. It is better to talk less and trust a tested few.
- Level of education: A teacher could be fired in found incompetent by the observing assistant Chinese teachers who must be present during every class session. China’s education system is tailored in line with the U.S. System, therefore American English is mostly used. Phonetics is an important part of English learning in China so it’s a pity if a teacher lacks the knowledge.
- Character: Hate it or love it, being yourself has always worked positively or negatively. “Doing what is right” remains the best character. The culture in China is completely different with just little similarities to the Western world. If you take your time to learn what not to do in China, you will surely stay out of trouble and enjoy your stay.
- Attitude to work: Lateness to work is unacceptable. Teachers are punished for lateness by deductions in salary but not without prior warnings. Working diligently includes going to work in time, preparing the teaching plan, ensuring that the content is well understood and, of course, letting the kids play while they learn is very important. New teachers are advised to make friends with other foreigners and learn the teaching steps. Applying your self-styled spice helps you enjoy the job. You dare not beat a kid for whatever reason unless you are ready to board the next available flight back home, if you’re lucky to avoid an arrest or given a huge hospital bill to pay on the “sick kid”.
- Racism: It is sad to say that whites are regarded more than blacks in China but there’s racism everywhere in the world so that shouldn’t scare anyone who loves to travel. Just like blacks, whites discriminate against fellow whites, too. The same goes for the Chinese. This should, therefore, be a motivation rather than a discouragement. Just do you thing and care less about whatever racist behavior you experience.
A white teacher earns a better salary even for doing less. Yes, a school will happily pay a white teacher a lot more just to use him/her to market the brand, not bad. If you get a good salary for the job you do, why worry about what someone else gets?
If you are a black-American, good, but only if you don’t have a black skin. How possible? The Chinese would argue with their last breath if you wish to convince them that a black could be American.
It’s understandable that people do a lot of things to survive without thinking morality. For the few black teachers holding up the true values of the black race, may God keep on blessing you. Do not be tempted by the progress of any fellow who is a double-edged sword.
Quotes from Odysseus:
“Men are haunted by the vastness of eternity. And so we ask ourselves: will our actions echo across the centuries? Will strangers hear our names long after we are gone, and wonder who we were, how bravely we fought, how fiercely we loved?
If they ever tell my story let them say that I walked with giants. Men rise and fall like the winter wheat, but these names will never die. Let them say I lived in the time of Hector, tamer of horses. Let them say I lived in the time of Achilles”.