As you may know, our family is leaving Taiwan this summer and returning to Silicon Valley. I wanted to start a thread where people can say goodbye, and leave some closing thoughts on their time in Taiwan and in TES. The question is often asked “why did you choose TES (over TAS)” and while I can answer that literally, using my mindset at the time, perhaps the better question is “would you choose TES again” and what have been your good and bad experiences.

In one sense, what with parents, students, teachers, and administrators, arriving sometimes mid-term and leaving after 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 years, that with many of us in a state of culture shock, it seems rather miraculous that a school functions at all, let alone to the high standards to which TES attains. At the same time I do feel that parents have had bad experiences at times and may not feel all the support they need.

I would like to say to the parents, that the teachers and staff at TES are, it must be said, only human. (And vice-versa). In my time, I have heard complaints from parents, some fair, but some unfair and lacking this perspective. (And vice-versa… for example, I am not sure parents do their best to read the blogs or get their children to school on time… teachers do have feedback that parents may not be taking on. Though at the same time, another parent and I have experienced parts of TES react to our child with a kind of institutional defense mechanism, a kind of “disease model” wherein students and parents get “labelled” and “put in a box”).

I will try to expand upon this post in coming weeks and months, but in answer to the question, I probably would choose TES again. Though perhaps this is because there is more or less only one other choice, TAS. Also I think the question depends on the age of your child. Also in my view costs at TES are fair. The books are largely open. TAS is far more expensive. But perhaps this is a different discussion thread.

I do want to say that at TES the teachers all know who you are and that they know your children and are helping them along, I am talking about administrators and specialist and pull-out teachers over the years, in addition to your current home room teacher. As such I would echo another commenter who described TES as a sincere school.

Improvements over the years the new center playground, the Lutetia cafe, the new Chinese language curriculum, and the class blogs. Conversely I remain unhappy about the budget and handling of gifted students, or the dissolution of the parent class lists. My conclusion however is not to damn TES with faint praise, but that we need to work together, to build trust and work out changes or improvements. And my hope is that this forum provides a convenient way to communicate, to thoughtfully and rationally inform future changes.