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local teaching style

  1. #1
    bbc mom is offline Registered User
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    Mar 2006
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    New Territories
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    local teaching style

    I took my son to try out a local playgroup hoping for him to pick up more Cantonese, but was appalled by the teaching style. I’m not sure if it was just a very bad teacher, or whether this happens in all local schools.

    The teacher was stern looking all the time and didn’t once smile at the toddlers. Apart from the free play at the beginning, the toddlers were expected to sit obediently on a chair for much of the class (for goodness sake they are only 1-2years old so it’s only natural that they have short attention spans). One boy stood up on his chair and the teacher aggressively pointed and jabbed her finger at his face scolding him to sit down, and when that didn’t work she actually poked him in the shoulder and back. If she did that to my son I would have exploded. Isn’t it illegal to manhandle kids these days?

    Her rational is that they need to learn discipline to prepare them for nursery/kindergarten environment, and if they cry let them cry. I just hated everything about the place, and I am now having second thoughts about placing my son into a local kindergarten even if it means losing out on learning cantonese.

    Am I being overly sensitive? I know they need to learn discipline and obedience but surely not in this way.

    By the way, my son used to go to the HKPPA and loved it there, but unfortunately they closed down last month so still trying to find a good playgroup.

  2. #2
    hoeve is offline Banned
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    Apr 2006
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    HK
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    It is very sad to hear what happen in the playgroup. I don't think it is a common practice for local teachers. It's a kind of child abuse. However, it is more common for local teachers to score or punish older students (e.g. stand next to the blackboard) whenever students don't follow classroom rules.
    My girl had joined playgroup organized by HKPPA, Alison's letterland and gymboree. Personally, I like letterland and gymboree more than HKPPA. If you don't mind their media of instruction is English, they may be another good choice.


    Quote Originally Posted by bbc mom View Post
    I took my son to try out a local playgroup hoping for him to pick up more Cantonese, but was appalled by the teaching style. I’m not sure if it was just a very bad teacher, or whether this happens in all local schools.

    The teacher was stern looking all the time and didn’t once smile at the toddlers. Apart from the free play at the beginning, the toddlers were expected to sit obediently on a chair for much of the class (for goodness sake they are only 1-2years old so it’s only natural that they have short attention spans). One boy stood up on his chair and the teacher aggressively pointed and jabbed her finger at his face scolding him to sit down, and when that didn’t work she actually poked him in the shoulder and back. If she did that to my son I would have exploded. Isn’t it illegal to manhandle kids these days?

    Her rational is that they need to learn discipline to prepare them for nursery/kindergarten environment, and if they cry let them cry. I just hated everything about the place, and I am now having second thoughts about placing my son into a local kindergarten even if it means losing out on learning cantonese.

    Am I being overly sensitive? I know they need to learn discipline and obedience but surely not in this way.

    By the way, my son used to go to the HKPPA and loved it there, but unfortunately they closed down last month so still trying to find a good playgroup.

  3. #3
    bbc mom is offline Registered User
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    Mar 2006
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    New Territories
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    hoeve - how I wish we were living in Kowloon/HK where there are more choices for playgroups

    MayC - thanks for your post and I'm glad to hear there are some good caring local teachers. I'll probably ask you later about Anchors!

    I truely hope my experience is not typical of local schools, but just a BAD teacher coupled with a badly structured playgroup.
    I knew local schools were generally more traditional, stricter and regimented, but I was still somewhat taken aback.

    I also agree on the basic rules of sitting down when eating and at storytime (same as at home and at HKPPA Earlybirds), but I felt 30mins was way too long just to eat a small triangle of bread. Immediately after that, they still had to sit at the same table to play lego, then moved to another room yet again to sit on chairs and be a captive audience while the teacher demonstrated some activities and sang a song. So all in all, they sat for almost 1 hour. It wouldn't have been so bad if there had been more interaction between teacher and child, but she just expected them to sit, watch and listen. The teacher had poor human skills anyway and didn't even look like she enjoyed teaching children.

    I actually visited the place before joining, but wasn't allowed to observe since you have to pay to attend the class.
    Anyway, will choose more carefully next time!

  4. #4
    hkmama1 is offline Registered User
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    Jul 2006
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    NT
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    Hey Connie, Sharon here...oh dear what an awful thing to have happened to Elliott. However dont let this one bad experience get to you about the local stream. When Aidan went to Fung Kai a very local kindergarten for half a term from what i saw the teachers were very caring, we only pulled him out becuase i needed an international enviornment for him (and info. in english lol). Anyhow, living where we do does restrict us to where we send our kids so young and u may have to travle further to attend some good playgroups. KEep searching for those.

    Pui had a very good experience too at Preschool. Anchors is good to and that is wheere aidan finally went for kinddie. However Anchors to my knowledge doesnt have playgroup. i will ask my local friends if they know of any good local groups u could try in the area or close by.

    I dont think any of us know if we have really gone down the right path - local/internationla, but go with your heart and it will be alright.

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