Sunday, November 14, 2010

14 - Note from my principal

Dear [sq],

Thanks for doing such a great job on Friday night. I was hoping that the numbers would have been more do-able but it's great PR to have so many parents getting the opportunity to meet and talk with such outstanding teachers!

Four parents commented on a few items- I don't know which students' parents they were ...but in any case it's important to be aware of parent perspective:

The parents are very anxious that their children are quite possibly drawing undesirable attention to themselves in this 'police state' by constantly trying to access illegal sites on the Internet. In order to be a successful business person in China a membership in the Communist Party is virtually mandatory...thus Linda Wong's conspicuous membership. We have students who are members of the Communist Party and the community is constantly being reminded of their responsibility to inform the officials with information on various government policies and concerns- residency infractions etc...You can imagine how students, knowing that 'so in so' is a party member who may feel the need to let the 'powers that be' know that they are spreading or embracing anti government stands etc, might fear the worst about the possible effect that this could have on their future opportunities.

The parents did also add that they would not have any concerns if it were within the context of a history class where a few historical topics came up naturally and necessarily. They would prefer that since this is not necessary in English 10 that it would be appreciated if more comfortable topics could be used. Personally, I have used a survey in the past to identify students' common interests or points of view in order to allow them to 'choose' their side of a debate or discussion. To be given a notorious person to justify as their 'hero' is not the same, especially in China, as singing the praises of one's own chosen role model. N's version of the 'fish bowl' activity would be a great way to organize very valuable classroom discussions -taking some of the focus off the individual as well.

The parents also mentioned that they would prefer a more 'professional' dress..they included mention of the heavy metal chain and ear ring- which they felt was 'young' rather than professional. I suppose this is in keeping with X and Y's dress code expectations- 'shirt, tie and corresponding attire'. Personally I don't think an ear ring is significant -either way.

Well, it all seems pretty reasonable, i admit.

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