Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Unexpected Recognition

As I was preparing for my classes yesterday, Catherine, the senior Chinese teacher, approached my desk and congratulated me for 100% retention of my students. She said that she has been teaching at the school for 12 years and this was the first time that a foreign teacher has accomplished such a feat.

The way it works is about every 8 months you have a PTA for each of your classes. You show off the kids skills to their parents and talk to the parents about the classes progress and future plans. After the PTA, the parents have to pay for the next session (big money!). The foreign teachers in my school teach the more advanced classes with older students. As the kids get older, it gets tougher to keep them because their schedules are pretty hectic. Convincing the parents to pay up for another session is not necessarily an easy task.

I had no idea that Catherine knew that I had accomplished the goal. She must've talked to my boss about it. I had received recognition from the director of the school in the form of a nice bonus in my last paycheck.

I'd like to think that this is solely a result of my efforts, but I am not that goofy. This group of kids is outstanding, their efforts and desire to become English speakers is second-to-none. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to lead this incredibly cohesive gang.

It was a real boost to get such praise from Catherine, she is revered as the alpha teacher at Gram.

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