Teacher or Clown?

Does your Laoban want

  • an “I run a tight ship” teacher who gets results and doesn’t care a jot about your accent or skin color?
  • A Brad Pitt/Julia Roberts-esque, guitar-playing, eraser juggling, backpacker that they can underpay and manipulate for (hopefully) a year and then repeat?
  • A mixture of both.
  • Neither

0 voters

I thought this an interesting quote worthy of scientific research ('umosan style).

I want an “I run a tight ship” teacher who gets results and can play guitar and juggle erasers.

I don’t care at all about your skin color.

All laoban want: teachers who can get parents to keep signing their kids up.

Kids getting good scores on tests will help
Having kids say how much they like their class (or refrain some saying how much they hate it) will help
Giving off the appearance of being competent when parents see you will help
Making parents feel a personal connection to the teacher will help

I voted mine would prefer the guitar playing/eraser juggling type. Competence is a plus, but not a requirement as long as the kids keep coming back…

[quote=“puiwaihin”]All laoban want: teachers who can get parents to keep signing their kids up.

Kids getting good scores on tests will help
Having kids say how much they like their class (or refrain some saying how much they hate it) will help
Giving off the appearance of being competent when parents see you will help
Making parents feel a personal connection to the teacher will help

I voted mine would prefer the guitar playing/eraser juggling type. Competence is a plus, but not a requirement as long as the kids keep coming back…[/quote]

My thoughts exactly. Thank you for interpreting the tenor of my poll accurately. :notworthy:

Like the other two guys, I’m going with the “edutainer” vote.

I can’t comment specifically on Taiwan as I’ve never been, but certainly in China this is what the schools want. It would be unacceptable for an FT to use the teaching methods applied in Chinese state schools, and any buxiban that did so would be struggling rather quickly.

I think most of this was covered in the other post, but it’s seems to come down to the market gets what the market wants (or is it vice versa?).

I have been pushing this idea of Education/entertainment to teachers and bosses around the island. And they nod and nod, and they like it. The difficulty is finding a happy median point.

Honestly, if I were to teach history in the us school system, the kids would love me and get a lot out of it. History Concentration Games, Jeopardy Science…yeeha.

Fun for the teacher is fun for the students. Fun and learning are NOT mutually exclusive.

Oh, I have a MA in TESOL and I CAN juggle…but not erasers! I also can do the “break my finger off” trick. :slight_smile:

My Laoban is very serious about her school and wants results. She has extrememly good English ability herself and teaches herself. She doesn’t give a jot about skin colour, and doesn’t care if the accent is NA, British, slightly Chinese.

However, she clearly sees the value of “educational” “activities/games” and often asks me to incorporate these into lessons to reinforce.

She wouldn’t complain about juggling, guitar playing, cartwheels, IF it had pedagogical (I really hope I spelt that right!!) value. But she is definitely not interested in a white faced entertainer.

Not manipulative. Pays me well. :smiley:

He can, he really can, I’ve seen it.

My boy didn’t know what to think though.

Bit off topic but I’ve been experimenting with what I know about TPRS (very little - still don’t have jdsmiths book) and from what I have seen so far it makes education fantastically entertaining as well as much more effective. Today’s class was like one long ah ha! moment. At one point we were all laughing so hard I was afraid I was going to pee my pants. Not often you get to enjoy a good honest belly laugh, learn Chinese, get paid AND win the respect and admiration of your students. Bloody marvelous.

Get the books.

Get the books.[/quote]

okok your cut is in the mail…

You may be right about this. And I hate to admit it.

I’ve never given a sh@t about that. Still don’t.

Don’t care much about this, really. However, point 1 seems to trump this idea. Even so, it is a bad idea to ask the kids what they think of every class they attend; it’s better to monitor their progress over a certain time period.

Agree.

Agree. Even if the ‘personal connection’ is only imaginary.

Disagree. Competence is more than a plus. The juggler may keep them for two months, but not for two years.

I was referring to my employer, or what I felt coming out of employment interviews. I agree with your assessment that competence really should be a top priority.

I was referring to my employer, or what I felt coming out of employment interviews. I agree with your assessment that competence really should be a top priority.[/quote]

puiwaihin is doing what I asked in the poll. I want the poll to reflect your current working situation. Wipt, it’s obvious from your posts which kind of ship you run. If I taught kids, yours would be the type of school I’d be looking to work at. But my thesis is that the majority of laobans are not smart enough to look at the long term results. For such a reputedly far thinking and patient culture, I find the majority of laobans to be so short sighted that a fish could outplan them.

The question for a business person is: what will bring in the clients?

In cram schools the factors are; happy students; happy parents.

So the next logical question is: What makes students and parents happy?

Most students are happy when they have fun.
IMHO all students like to learn on a sub-conscious level, but as for day to day conscious thinking it is “how interesting, fun or boring was class today?”

If over a long period the student cannot see improvement in their Enlglish ability (and they don’t have the choice not to go to Cram school) The having fun part will be very dominant in their outlook.

There are some students (and I have had some very young ones who don’t want to play games even when they are educational), they want to learn English.

The parents are happy when their children are not complaining about Cram school and their children’s English is improving.

A teacher can write a test to reflect the student’s ability, or to show the student can get 100% on all tests.

If the students are getting 100% on all tests then most parents will assume their children are improving.

If the students “like” going to Cram school the parents will think it is a good Cram school and it is one less thing to worry about.

As a sweeping generalisation, laoban’s want to make the students happy, so that the parents are happy.

This in no way rules out that laobans’ are serious educators.

The fact is the bottom line is $$$ for everybody, laoban, teacher, parent.

Definitely the first option for my laoban. I think the fact that she requires all teachers to have certification is a sign of that. And they’ve let parents take their kids out of the school rather than letting them domineer the programs and the teachers. It’s better to sacrifice one irate parent and their child than the freedom a teacher has to plan a creative learning environment. I think the fact that we have well over 200 students in the school is a pretty good argument that not only does it works but that not all parents (and school owners) are hung up on race or looks.