Foreign English Teachers in China are working in an educational environment that is completely different from the one they are used to at home. They won’t only meet Chinese students, they are likely to meet their parents as well. Especially teachers teaching at a private school in China. Read more about what you need to know to understand Chinese parents.
Parents who send their child to a private school in China are looking for the best. The best method, the best school facilities, the most beautiful teachers. They prefer their child to learn in a fun environment. It is up to the teacher to design interactive classes that will teach little Jack and Emma the alphabet and how to pronounce all 26 letters correctly.
When their child is doing a good job in school, it will affect the social status of the parents as well. Smart teachers use this during parents meetings. Focus on what is going really well and only discuss points of improvement shortly. Never provide critical feedback towards parents when in a group with other parents. They will feel awfully ashamed of themselves and their child.
Investment in the Future
Take into consideration that providing a child with good education is an investment in the future for most Chinese parents. Well-educated individuals will be likely to find a good job with a good salary. As the children, especially boys, are expected to take care of their parents when they are older, sending them to a private school to learn English is just a small step in securing a safe and careless future for everyone.
The best foreign teachers are the ones that understand what Chinese parents are looking for. The ones who are open-minded, the ones who try to find out why Chinese parents put pressure on their kids, and why only the best is good enough. If you are able to understand this, it will definitely add to your status as a foreign teacher at the private school and to your experience in China.
Written by Puck Stamps, Program Consultant at China Plus