Rich kid, poor kid

I teach at two schools in Taipei:

No. 1:

Location: Right in the heart of Taipei’s city centre
School type: This is a school with a very good reputation. All English environment, most of the kids have been in this environment since the age of 3, some younger. 7 foreign teachers, no Chinese teachers. Vast array of facilities: Kitchen, 2 huge play areas, overhead projectors, 10 computers for students use etc etc …
Parents: Rich, filthy rich. Doctors, Lawyers, businessmen
Parent’s cars: Benz, Lexus, Porsche etc
Student’s English ability: Fluent
Student’s manners & behavior: bad tempered, rude little brats, used to getting their arses wiped by an 阿姨 and always having their way. Games and discussions regularly turn into tantrums or verbal abuse

No. 2:

Location: 景美 (Jingmei)
School type: One man band 補習班. Mouldy old classrooms, 1 foreign teacher, 4 Chinese teachers. No facilities to speak of (well, there is a dirty toilet)
Parents: working class
Parent’s cars: mopeds and bicycles
Student’s English ability: A few make it beyond the “I am from Taiwan” stage
Student’s manners & behavior: hard working, able to enjoy games and activities without the need to abuse or complain. They almost seem to self correct any behavior problems within their groups

What conclusions can I draw here?

I know where I’d want my kid to go

I’d want my kid to learn the language. It’s a damn shame, but education like the one you just mentioned costs a lot! 10K a month at the school I teach at full-time.

At my last job (starts with ‘H’ and ends with ‘S’) the cost was 9K every three months. Of course, they only got one fifth the amount of time in class and about half the amount of attention thanks to class sizes of up to 24 kids (as opposed to 12 in the current school).

As with anything, you get what you pay for. As for the attitudes of the students, that part is up to you to correct. A strong manager that actually enforces rules is a help. Most of the rich kids that I’ve taught have been very polite and respectful, as that’s exactly what their parents demand from them. It’s usually just the ‘nouveau riche’ brats with parents who are far too busy to take care of them who like to cause trouble.

Of course, poor kids are often more appreciative of your work and of their parents expenditure on tuition. That alone doesn’t make them better students.

Actually my best students were the ones with wealthy parents. May it’s a (starts with ‘H’ and ends with ‘S’) thing?

I teach at two different branches of the same chain school. One branch is in a nicer part of town where the students are clearly a bit better off. The majority of students here are polite, outgoing and enthusiastic about learning English. I love teaching there.

The other branch is in a poorer part of town, where the families are clearly working class and the kids get dropped off by old scooters driven by fat old grandmothers and uncles. The majority of students here are rude, disrespectful and totally unmotivated. They show no desire to learn English and act like I’m pulling their teeth out when I actually try to make them speak.

Rich or poor, it all depends on what their parents have done with them. Poor assholes will have asshole children, but rich assholes will have asshole children, too.