Spoiled Brat Formula
31 Oct 2004
I’ve taught some lessons at quite a few kindergartens around Shanghai. Without a doubt, there are kindergartens with “good kids,” and then there are kindergartens where the kids are all spoiled brats who won’t listen to the teacher at all.
If it’s an expensive private kindergarten, there’s a very good chance that the kids are mostly spoiled, and the school’s “discipline” has little effect.
If it’s a “boarding kindergarten,” a kind of kindergarten popular in Shanghai where the kids only go home on weekends, then the kids are much more unruly. The poor little guys are clearly attention-starved. Teaching these kids makes you a believer in ADD.
On Monday evenings Micah and I teach at a rich private boarding kindergarten. It has, easily, the most poorly behaved kids of any kindergarten I’ve seen in China. Recently when our company did a Halloween activity at that school, one of my co-workers, a kindergarten English teacher, commented that she had never seen such wild kids before either.
My favorite class there is the pre-K (ÍÐ°à) kids. They’re only between 2 and 3 years old. Normally I hate teaching the pre-K kids because they’re so young that they can hardly learn anything — especially a foreign language — and I feel like teaching them is a complete waste of my time. In this case, though, I like them because they’re too young to have been already completely spoiled rotten by their parents.
Last week when I went to that kindergarten I had barely gotten past the “greeting” part of class when four kids spontaneously jumped out of their seats and started busting out kung fu moves. They were followed by four more. I was suddenly surrounded by eight little Chinese martial arts munchkins, and my protests were completely useless.