Opinions were divided, amongst friends, acquaintances, and blog commentators, when I told them that I would be going to China to teach rich kids at a swanky international school.
The first possibility was: "Well, Chinese people work hard in general and respect education and teachers, and rich kids will be from good families and be under a lot of pressure to be successful."
The second possibility was: "Well, Chinese though they may be, they'll be rich and spoiled and lazy, and give you a hard time."
Yeah, they're pretty bad.
Not worse than the Saudis, of course, but pretty bad.
And the swanky international school?
Turns out it has the usual problems -- cramming too many students into one class, books arrived three weeks late, problems with mismatched levels of students, no discipline system, etc.
(In retrospect, the only surprise is that I was surprised by it.)
See, our school is swanky and international, but it also is a private institute with no real admission policy. So you pay the fee, you get to go.
Thus, it's kind of a dumping ground for bratty kids their parents don't want to deal with any more, actually.
And also kids with what are politely called "special needs" and "behavioral issues" and who lay on the "autism spectrum."
(What we used to call retards, spazmos, geeks, and brats, in the old days. Thank god we've all grown beyond insulting terminology, and instead have detached clinical terms to describe them!)
Still, chin up. The pay is good, I generally like it, and China has a lot of fabulous stuff to see and do. Maybe next week I'll write about my trip to the Shaolin Temple. (Oh my aching knees.)