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  • Katie Kruse
    I was involved with this group some time back when I was living in China and working at Shenzhen University. I ve been in America for several years now. My
    Message 1 of 25 , Dec 8, 2011
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      I was involved with this group some time back when I was living in China and working at Shenzhen University. I've been in America for several years now. My mother was very sick (which prompted me to return to America to be with her in her final days). Now we are heading back to China. I've spent a great amount of my time in America reading about various aspects of education. I am very interested in technology in education. I'm excited to try to implement some of these new ideas/applications in classrooms in China. I am planning on starting a book club for ELLs. I also LOVE teaching writing.

      I will be doing some substitute work this coming semester, by fall I hope to move to full-time. My background is as a high school English teacher. I also have my M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction. I've spent about 6 years in China (mostly Shenzhen, but also Guangzhou and Wuhan). My husband manages a tubular heating element factory and we have three kids.

      I've appreciated the knowledge I've gained from this group in the past. I hope to be able to give back as much as possible this coming year.

      Also, I find it interesting that most of the same people participate in this group. Seems like not much has changed.

      Katie Kruse
    • Nelson Bank
      Not many Chinese English teachers seem to participate.  I really wish some
      Message 2 of 25 , Dec 9, 2011
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        <I find it interesting that most of the same people participate in this group>


        Not many Chinese English teachers seem to participate.  I really wish some Chinese teachers would post.  I am very curious as to how much Linguistics Primary and Secondary English teachers learn in college, and what their curriculum and methodology is supposed to be ideally in their teaching classrooms.  I have seen such wonderful teaching, especially in Primary classrooms, in China.  I'm more curious about the secondary teaching methods.
        Nelson Bank

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Katie Kruse
        Do Chinese English teachers know about this site? I really hate the chasm between foreign teachers and local teachers in China. My husband and I have made a
        Message 3 of 25 , Dec 9, 2011
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          Do Chinese English teachers know about this site?

          I really hate the chasm between foreign teachers and local teachers in China. My husband and I have made a huge effort to live in and amongst Chinese people. We have never lived in a separate, gated, foreigner community. But I have always found it hard to make those connections with other professionals (eager students always find their way to me, but never the seasoned English teacher).

          I also felt sectioned off from the other English professors at SZU. We never had any meetings with them. We never co-taught. We never coordinated curriculum. In fact, we never even had banquets or parties with them. Except for the occasional competition that we were both judges at, we almost never saw them. I found this frustrating and disappointing. I really do not understand the lack of communication between local teachers and foreign teachers. Is not our goal one and the same?

          Many of my former students are now teachers themselves. I'll send out an invitation for them to participate.

          Katie Kruse
        • Thomas Krickl
          The Chinese English teachers do not view you as equals, especially at the university level.  They are professors, you are just a hired hack brought in so
          Message 4 of 25 , Dec 10, 2011
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            The Chinese English teachers do not view you as equals, especially at the university level.  They are professors, you are just a hired hack brought in so students can hear English spoken by a native speaker.  Maybe, just maybe, if you had a PhD, they would come down to your level once in a while for a short conversation. 
             
            Tom Krickl Beijing/Raleigh 

            --- On Fri, 12/9/11, Katie Kruse <howetokruse@...> wrote:


            From: Katie Kruse <howetokruse@...>
            Subject: Re: (teach) Intro - connecting with Chinese teachers
            To: "TEFLChina@yahoogroups.com" <TEFLChina@yahoogroups.com>
            Date: Friday, December 9, 2011, 6:45 PM



             



            Do Chinese English teachers know about this site?

            I really hate the chasm between foreign teachers and local teachers in China. My husband and I have made a huge effort to live in and amongst Chinese people. We have never lived in a separate, gated, foreigner community. But I have always found it hard to make those connections with other professionals (eager students always find their way to me, but never the seasoned English teacher).

            I also felt sectioned off from the other English professors at SZU. We never had any meetings with them. We never co-taught. We never coordinated curriculum. In fact, we never even had banquets or parties with them. Except for the occasional competition that we were both judges at, we almost never saw them. I found this frustrating and disappointing. I really do not understand the lack of communication between local teachers and foreign teachers. Is not our goal one and the same?

            Many of my former students are now teachers themselves. I'll send out an invitation for them to participate.

            Katie Kruse








            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Don Woods
            I have to respond to this because it is outrageously cynical and, based on my experiences at Nanjing University for the past three years, completely false. I
            Message 5 of 25 , Dec 10, 2011
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              I have to respond to this because it is outrageously cynical and, based on
              my experiences at Nanjing University for the past three years, completely
              false. I have had, and continue to have, good relationships with Chinese
              professors here and two of them are very good friends of mine. I have
              experienced kindness, helpfulness, and respect. Any foreign teacher of
              English who indicates, by behavior and attitudes, that he/she cares about
              students and teaching techniques, is respected and liked by the professors
              and the Chinese staff people.

              Chinese professors do not, for good reason, respect backpackers who simply
              want to hang out in a foreign country and get paid for being a tourist. I
              certainly do not respect these people either. But a good teacher within
              the Chinese framework, meaning a person who works hard at planning lessons,
              who does not lose his/her temper with frustrating students, who exhibits
              patience and thoughtfulness to staff people, will be welcomed, liked and
              respected by the Chinese professors.


              Don Woods

              On Sun, Dec 11, 2011 at 12:41 AM, Thomas Krickl <tkric@...> wrote:

              > **
              >
              >
              > The Chinese English teachers do not view you as equals, especially at the
              > university level. They are professors, you are just a hired hack brought
              > in so students can hear English spoken by a native speaker. Maybe, just
              > maybe, if you had a PhD, they would come down to your level once in a while
              > for a short conversation.
              >
              > Tom Krickl Beijing/Raleigh
              >
              > --- On Fri, 12/9/11, Katie Kruse <howetokruse@...> wrote:
              >
              > From: Katie Kruse <howetokruse@...>
              > Subject: Re: (teach) Intro - connecting with Chinese teachers
              > To: "TEFLChina@yahoogroups.com" <TEFLChina@yahoogroups.com>
              > Date: Friday, December 9, 2011, 6:45 PM
              >
              >
              >
              > Do Chinese English teachers know about this site?
              >
              > I really hate the chasm between foreign teachers and local teachers in
              > China. My husband and I have made a huge effort to live in and amongst
              > Chinese people. We have never lived in a separate, gated, foreigner
              > community. But I have always found it hard to make those connections with
              > other professionals (eager students always find their way to me, but never
              > the seasoned English teacher).
              >
              > I also felt sectioned off from the other English professors at SZU. We
              > never had any meetings with them. We never co-taught. We never coordinated
              > curriculum. In fact, we never even had banquets or parties with them.
              > Except for the occasional competition that we were both judges at, we
              > almost never saw them. I found this frustrating and disappointing. I really
              > do not understand the lack of communication between local teachers and
              > foreign teachers. Is not our goal one and the same?
              >
              > Many of my former students are now teachers themselves. I'll send out an
              > invitation for them to participate.
              >
              > Katie Kruse
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
              >
              >


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Stefan Penchev
              @Tom Krickl Beijing/Raleigh: I totally agree and support your opinion. For six years I have never, not even once been able to integrate with my Chinese
              Message 6 of 25 , Dec 10, 2011
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                @Tom Krickl Beijing/Raleigh: I totally agree and support your opinion. For
                six years I have never, not even once been able to integrate with my
                Chinese colleagues. Although I worked for 3 years at a college, I didn't
                happen to know all the staff until the very end, although there were less
                than 20 people in the so called 'Department.'

                This feature is typically Chinese: remember that Chinese students abroad
                also stay aside from the other students. They don't cooperate and don't
                integrate with the rest of the world. It has been like this for the past
                5000 years; I don't expect any changes in the next 5000, despite the
                globalization.

                Stefan Penchev


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Nelson Bank
                One of the last places I taught, a private K-12 in Wuxi, had a teacher room
                Message 7 of 25 , Dec 11, 2011
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                  <I have always found it hard to make those connections with other professionals>


                  One of the last places I taught, a private K-12 in Wuxi, had a teacher room for the foreign teachers (all 2 of us).  I asked if I could use the Chinese teachers' room to have my desk, and they said 'yes'.  It worked out OK for a while.  I had to drag up the water five storeys once a week, but then everyone did.  Things started breaking down with the smoking and spitting though.  Just couldn't take it, so I went back to the foreign teachers' teacher room.

                  At my longterm teaching stint, in Wuhan, another private K-12 boarding school, I was encouraged to hang out in the Chinese teachers' teachers' rooms.  We had lots of foreign teachers, sometimes 40 at a time, but they all stayed in their foreign teacher accommodations (cute little apartments on campus) when not in class.  I had a real blast in the Primary teachers' room, where I did most of my teaching.  I visited the junior middle school teachers' rooms some, and the senior middle school teachers' rooms also.  I noticed a funny thing - the senior teachers were less receptive to English.  Part of the buzz I picked up was "English is useless."  Of course this came from the older teachers mostly, but it was passed on a little to the students.  I had a tough time teaching the senior students.

                  Nelson Bank

                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Terence
                  I ve always worn a suit and tie to class (except in the depths of summer). I credit this habit with all the opportunities I ve been given to represent the
                  Message 8 of 25 , Dec 11, 2011
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                    I've always worn a suit and tie to class (except in the depths of summer). I credit this habit with all the opportunities I've been given to represent the school and other organisations over the past 12 years. Many is the time when someone is looking for a foreigner who can be counted upon to be presentable for a serious event. My colleagues don't appear to like it, however. They always try to create heat until they wear themselves out.

                    That's not to say that everyone should wear decent clothes to class, of course. If it's common to teach in shorts and thongs in your university or middle school at home then, by all means, you should do the same in China ... if the dress code allows it.

                    The trouble is, the Chinese usually don't tell you directly that you're offending them. Unless you're listening deeply, you won't hear what they're 'saying'.

                    Terence Egan
                  • Terence
                    They d love to, Katie, but for many (perhaps most) the face-threat is too much to bear, especially for the English teachers. They often have little confidence
                    Message 9 of 25 , Dec 11, 2011
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                      They'd love to, Katie, but for many (perhaps most) the face-threat is too much to bear, especially for the English teachers.

                      They often have little confidence in their English language abilities and they certainly won't expose themselves to error ... especially in front of their students.

                      It's a case of hasten slowly. Your best way in with some people is to ask them for help on something (as opposed to you doing something for them). It only needs to be small. Gain their confidence (slowly); reduce their discomfort (gradually).

                      This is a universal problem. It's worth persisting. Quite a useful professional development opportunity, in my opinion.

                      Regards,
                      Terence Egan




                      --- In TEFLChina@yahoogroups.com, Katie Kruse <howetokruse@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Do Chinese English teachers know about this site?
                      >
                      > I really hate the chasm between foreign teachers and local teachers in China. My husband and I have made a huge effort to live in and amongst Chinese people. We have never lived in a separate, gated, foreigner community. But I have always found it hard to make those connections with other professionals (eager students always find their way to me, but never the seasoned English teacher).
                      >
                      > I also felt sectioned off from the other English professors at SZU. We never had any meetings with them. We never co-taught. We never coordinated curriculum. In fact, we never even had banquets or parties with them. Except for the occasional competition that we were both judges at, we almost never saw them. I found this frustrating and disappointing. I really do not understand the lack of communication between local teachers and foreign teachers. Is not our goal one and the same?
                      >
                      > Many of my former students are now teachers themselves. I'll send out an invitation for them to participate.
                      >
                      > Katie Kruse
                      >
                    • Julian Suddaby
                      ... I m afraid I disagree with nearly every line of this message. Unfriendliness is not typically Chinese. Chinese students abroad do not separate themselves
                      Message 10 of 25 , Dec 12, 2011
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                        On Sun, 11 Dec 2011, Stefan Penchev wrote:

                        > This feature is typically Chinese: remember that Chinese students abroad
                        > also stay aside from the other students. They don't cooperate and don't
                        > integrate with the rest of the world. It has been like this for the past
                        > 5000 years; I don't expect any changes in the next 5000, despite the
                        > globalization.

                        I'm afraid I disagree with nearly every line of this message.
                        Unfriendliness is not typically Chinese. Chinese students abroad do not
                        separate themselves from the other students. They do cooperate, and do
                        integrate with the rest of the world. There's no five thousand year
                        history of isolationism, and I'm confident that Chinese people will in the
                        future continue to be just as a valuable part of the world community as
                        they are today.

                        Julian Suddaby
                        Beijing
                      • Joe Blum
                        ... my experiences at Nanjing University for the past three years, completely false. I second that. My fond experiences date further back (2008-9) but they
                        Message 11 of 25 , Dec 12, 2011
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                          >I have to respond to this because it is outrageously cynical and, based on
                          my experiences at Nanjing University for the past three years, completely
                          false.

                          I second that. My fond experiences date further back (2008-9) but they were
                          of equal high quality.

                          Joe Blum

                          http://gelf.us





                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Stefan Penchev
                          @ Julian Suddaby/Beijing ... I agree. Unfriendliness is a globally spread vice. Chinese people are the most humble and peaceful people I have seen. Compared to
                          Message 12 of 25 , Dec 12, 2011
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                            @ Julian Suddaby/Beijing
                            >
                            > Unfriendliness is not typically Chinese

                            I agree. Unfriendliness is a globally spread vice. Chinese people are the
                            most humble and peaceful people I have seen. Compared to
                            the aggressiveness in Europe China is a haven of peace.

                            Chinese students abroad do not separate themselves from the other
                            > students. They do cooperate, and do integrate with the rest of the world.

                            I have never been to the US. All my information comes indirectly from
                            postings on this forum and Internet articles. Maybe this one - published
                            only 4 days ago - will throw light on this issue (the red links inside
                            provide info, too).
                            http://the-diplomat.com/china-power/2011/12/08/chinese-students-and-fitting-in/

                            There's no five thousand year history of isolationism, and I'm confident
                            > that Chinese people will in the future continue to be just as a valuable
                            > part of the world community as they are today.

                            Chinese people ARE valuable, even extremely valuable these days with their
                            human qualities. I have never stated otherwise. My information about their '
                            isolationism' comes from documentaries and historical reviews, but it's
                            difficult for me to find the sources and quote the exact words.

                            I feel this topic is outside of my area, so I prefer to talk about teaching
                            English.

                            Stefan Penchev


                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • tanyujie
                            ... As someone else already mentioned most Chinese English teachers, no matter their status, feel ashamed when a foreign teacher speaks to them in English. My
                            Message 13 of 25 , Dec 12, 2011
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                              --- In TEFLChina@yahoogroups.com, Katie Kruse <howetokruse@...> wrote:
                              >
                              >
                              > I really hate the chasm between foreign teachers and local teachers in China. My husband and I have made a huge effort to live in and amongst Chinese people. We have never lived in a separate, gated, foreigner community. But I have always found it hard to make those connections with other professionals (eager students always find their way to me, but never the seasoned English teacher).
                              >
                              >
                              As someone else already mentioned most Chinese English teachers, no matter their status, feel ashamed when a foreign teacher speaks to them in English. My advice to you is to learn Chinese. Get a tutor who doesn't speak English. Get one that doesn't want to exchange Chinese for English. Learning basic Chinese would certainly would break the ice.

                              And as far as Chinese overseas not willing to integrate themselves in their adopted countries, well...I can only tell you a story about a conversation I had a few years back w/ a Chinese classmate who was going for a master's degree in the University of Hawaii-Hilo's China-US program. A lot of my fellow American classmates were wondering why their Chinese counterparts would not just jump into discussions or even ask questions. I knew the reason why but I just wanted to be sure that my theory was correct. So I asked my Chinese classmate why she would never participate in class discussions and for her advice on how to get Chinese participation in class. She said that she and her fellow Chinese are not used to having discussions in class. That's not how they were taught. She said, "If you want us to participate you have to ask us for our opinion."

                              Jada Rufo
                            • Nelson Bank
                              I introduced a new methodology at my school in Wuhan.  The senior-high-school supervisor said I could demo it in a
                              Message 14 of 25 , Dec 12, 2011
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                                <a valuable part of the world community>


                                I introduced a new methodology at my school in Wuhan.  The senior-high-school supervisor said I could demo it in a class, but on the appointed day, he said I couldn't, because the foreign affairs director, not a teacher herself, said I couldn't.  I was able to connect with the supervisor thru academics, but not the director, who was not a teacher.  I found all teachers open to discuss curriculum and methodology.

                                I wonder if Chinese foreign-language curriculum and methodology would suit the world.  I missed the opportunity to discover the bases of Chinese second-language teaching while in China.  I would guess it would have a strong Confucian basis, but then I don't know what the application of that Confucianism would look like in class.

                                Could any Chinese English teacher please elucidate on this?  My first peregrination in China was to Qufu, but I didn't 'pick up' much on the subject other than some broken English from the Xuzhou cab driver who continuously (well it seemed continuously, but actually was probably continually) honked his horn all the way to the shrine.

                                Nelson Bank

                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • Katie Kruse
                                Well, since I started this, I should really say something in conclusion. I think whoever said something about Chinese teachers not being open to relationships
                                Message 15 of 25 , Dec 12, 2011
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                                  Well, since I started this, I should really say something in conclusion.

                                  I think whoever said something about Chinese teachers not being open to relationships with foreign teachers - and that the reason was they looked down on foreign teachers (not me, I did not specifically say that -- I just said it was hard to establish a relationship with them), was responding to something. I don't like generalizations since what is true in one place is not always true in another place and same goes for groups of people. I, for one, overstated my issue. I worked in Wuhan from 2000-2001. I was very close with many of the other professors there. In fact, one professor went on an exchange program to the University of Michigan and then came and stayed with us in America for a while. So, my experience of not having a good feeling of collaboration with other Chinese professors was more a response to my experience at Shenzhen University. That being said, there are many barriers to collaboration between foreign teachers and Chinese teachers. This is a real problem and it does not help to gloss over the cultural differences that lead to this difficulty. There is some looking-down on that goes on (much of which is well deserved because of the terrible lot of teachers schools have experienced -- which is mostly their own fault since for a long time they hired whoever was willing to come). There is also the bureaucratic support (or abandonment) that affects the culture of a university and structure of a department. Many things contribute. Chinese people are more closed culturally so there is some of that. I have done many stints in China; with every time I get wiser, more experienced and more motivated to push beyond whatever cultural limits I have hit the last time. I think much can be done to improve collaboration and if (and when) I get the chance to work full-time at a university again, I will certainly make a better more concerted effort toward working together with my teaching colleagues.

                                  Someone mentioned speaking Chinese. This is not really a solution for developing relationships with English professors. I can generalize here and say they would be truly insulted by that. It would cause them to lose face. However, my Chinese is pretty good and I do have several friends who do not speak any English. My husband's Chinese is ridiculously good and so as a family we have many family friends who do not speak any English at all. I do feel like having language skills does open doors -- especially with high-up party members who did not likely spend their early years learning English. Speaking even basic conversational Chinese is such an advantage. However, that would not help with English department colleagues.

                                  I'm really a doer though. I'm going to try some new approaches. I'll let you all know how it goes. Shenzhen is a beast unto itself though � it is not like the rest of China in so many ways.

                                  Katie Kruse


                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                • tanyujie
                                  Katie Kruse wrote: [Someone mentioned speaking Chinese. This is not really a solution for developing relationships with English professors. I can generalize
                                  Message 16 of 25 , Dec 14, 2011
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                                    Katie Kruse wrote:

                                    [Someone mentioned speaking Chinese. This is not really a solution for developing relationships with English professors. I can generalize here and say they would be truly insulted by that. It would cause them to lose face. However, my Chinese is pretty good and I do have several friends who do not speak any English. My husband's Chinese is ridiculously good and so as a family we have many family friends who do not speak any English at all. I do feel like having language skills does open doors -- especially with high-up party members who did not likely spend their early years learning English. Speaking even basic conversational Chinese is such an advantage. However, that would not help with English department colleagues.]

                                    I say that learning Chinese is useful because at least your Chinese colleagues can see that you are struggling (or may be not if your Chinese is that good) with their language just as they are struggling in English. It wouldn't be wise to say that all Chinese would feel insulted because of their English speaking inabilities. Most of my former university colleagues would be insulted only if the conversation is taking place in front of a student. I have found that when I, at least try to say something in Chinese, they smile and say, either in English or in Chinese, "Wow! Your Chinese is so good!" I don't always speak to them in Chinese. Most of the times I use English. After all. They are English teachers.

                                    I currently have a similar problem with some of my Chinese colleagues at the school I'm at now. Although I don't teach at a regular school (I teach at a training center for kids) I find that there are certain Chinese teachers whom I feel most comfortable with while there are others who do not feel confident enough to speak to me in English. Only when I say something in Chinese do they say blah blah blah.

                                    I've also insisted that in every school I have a desk in the same office as the Chinese English teachers. I've gotten mixed results. At one university the FAOs shared a desk in the English Dept. office. We'd sit and chat with our Chinese colleagues. At another university I had a desk but was hardly in because the male teachers smoked too much. But having a desk and sharing an office does help if you can take the heat.

                                    Anyway, try different things. Be persistent. Don't give up.

                                    Jada
                                  • Tim Wu
                                    It is not always true. We have experienced a lot of foreign teachers who just thought they were travelling. We liked to be their friends, but they were
                                    Message 17 of 25 , Jan 3, 2012
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                                      It is not always true. We have experienced a lot of foreign teachers who just thought they were travelling.

                                      We liked to be their friends, but they were confined to themselves. We did not see many dedicated to education.


                                      --- On Sun, 12/11/11, Stefan Penchev <stefpen@...> wrote:

                                      Tom Krickl Beijing/Raleigh: I totally agree and support your opinion. For
                                      six years I have never, not even once been able to integrate with my
                                      Chinese colleagues. Although I worked for 3 years at a college, I didn't
                                      happen to know all the staff until the very end, although there were less
                                      than 20 people in the so called 'Department.'

                                      This feature is typically Chinese: remember that Chinese students abroad
                                      also stay aside from the other students. They don't cooperate and don't
                                      integrate with the rest of the world. It has been like this for the past
                                      5000 years; I don't expect any changes in the next 5000, despite the
                                      globalization.

                                      Stefan Penchev
                                    • Tim Wu
                                      Don, I agree with you. Most Chinese teachers are very friendly and cooperative. Backpackers are many. I met some two days ago in Nanjing. They even appeared
                                      Message 18 of 25 , Jan 3, 2012
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                                        Don, I agree with you.

                                        Most Chinese teachers are very friendly and cooperative. Backpackers are many. I met some two days ago in Nanjing. They even appeared on some formal occasion as "language experts".

                                        Tim Wu
                                        __________________________________________________________________________________________

                                        Don Woods wrote:

                                        I have to respond to this because it is outrageously cynical and, based on
                                        my experiences at Nanjing University for the past three years, completely
                                        false. I have had, and continue to have, good relationships with Chinese
                                        professors here and two of them are very good friends of mine. I have
                                        experienced kindness, helpfulness, and respect. Any foreign teacher of
                                        English who indicates, by behavior and attitudes, that he/she cares about
                                        students and teaching techniques, is respected and liked by the professors
                                        and the Chinese staff people.

                                        Chinese professors do not, for good reason, respect backpackers who simply
                                        want to hang out in a foreign country and get paid for being a tourist. I
                                        certainly do not respect these people either. But a good teacher within
                                        the Chinese framework, meaning a person who works hard at planning lessons,
                                        who does not lose his/her temper with frustrating students, who exhibits
                                        patience and thoughtfulness to staff people, will be welcomed, liked and
                                        respected by the Chinese professors.

                                        Don Woods
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