|Love China - Don't Want to Leave|
|I first came to China a little over a year ago. I've signed on for another and, if I had my way, would not leave for a long, long time.
I've had almost nothing but positive experiences. If you come here with a respectful and open-minded attitude, and if you want to teach and not just party and travel, you will have a wonderful time.
I taught both public and private schools in the US, and Chinese students are the best students I have ever had. And while some people complain about a lack of curriculum, I like being left alone to teach as I like, instead of constantly being watched and critized, and having to pitch my lessons towards the religious interests of a few.
China is NOT your home country. If you want everything the way it is at home, then stay there. Don't come with a big "my country is better than this one and the way we do things is the right way" chip on your shoulder. If you're going to whine and cry because you can't get the kind of coffee you get at home or because you don't like the thickness of toilet paper, stay in your little hole.
Yeah, students spit. They'll also spend their last 5 yuan to buy you presents, pool their monthly allowances to take you out to dinner, and never forget when you compliment them and give them confidence. All you have to do is try, and the students will respond. But if you come in with an agenda (religious, political), they'll know that, too. Respect them and they will respect you.
I love living and teaching in China, and it makes me sad and frustrated to read so much negativity directed at it, when I think most of the problems come from the complainer's personal attitudes and ego. China might not be for everyone, but I can honestly say that coming here is the best thing I've ever done.
September 5, 2004
Zhengzhou, People's Republic of China