Some Teachers Outside the U.S. Use Different Methods

By Quyen Ha
     Just like there are some students at Blair H.S. who came from other countries, some teachers who are teaching at Blair have also taught or studied in other countries before they taught at Blair. There are places like Eastern Europe, Southern Africa, and China.
Mr. Wang teaches math to ESOL students. He was a student himself in China for two years to study Chinese. Mr. Wang said, "In China the teaching was boring," They just talked or lectured and the students were supposed to take notes. "The students rarely, rarely, rarely get together in groups," he said.
     In the U.S the students aren't asked to remember as much as students in some countries. Ms. Zompa is a teacher who was teaching in Bulgaria and the Ukraine in Eastern Europe before she was teaching at Blair. "The students were expected to memorize and recite facts," she said. She added that students never worked in groups.
     Many teachers who have taught in other countries agree that here there is more freedom to learn and more interaction between students with teachers. "The teachers in Eastern Europe, I think, are more rigid and teacher-centered than U.S. teachers," Ms. Zompa said. "They punish students by making their grade lower. There are no detentions, suspensions or calling parents at home," she said.
     When a student is bad in the U.S. some teachers just send the students to the office or send them outside the room for a timeout. But according to Mr. Wang, it's different in China. "The teachers in China I knew were very strict and if a student didn't do something or was bad," Mr. Wang said," they would whack one's face."
Ms.Cohen is teaching ESOL 1 and 4. She was teaching in Lesotho in Southern Africa. "If students don't pay attention, the first time they use a ruler to whack them on the arm, or whack them on the fingers. If they are very bad they beat them in font of the class," she said.
     In other countries hitting students is a common way the teachers punish the students. When they are not listening to teachers, they use a ruler to whack them on the back. Sometimes they make them stay after school helping to clean the classroom. Maria is the senior student at Blair form Central America. "I think they do that because that is the way they can make students understand or work hard and pay attention in the class," she said.
Some students like the teachers in the U.S. better than the teachers in their own countries. Noeliza is a sophomore student at Blair. "In my country the teachers don't teach students very well. They don't care about the students learning," she said. "Here in America teachers really care about the students' learning."
     In some countries students have a distance from their teachers and the teachers have a kind of reservation with their students. But American teachers are totally opposite from other teachers in some countries. They try to relate to their students. "I feel more free to talk with American teachers than to talk with my Chinese teachers," said Weiyun, a student from China. "I feel like [I can talk like] with one of my friends."
     In Africa they are more concerned about student behavior and respect to teachers, " The students are very respect But if students from other countries learn respect to teachers, some lose it in the United States. Mr. Wang feels that too often the students don't show respect to teachers a lot when the teachers are lecturing or teaching. The students do not pay attention or listen to teachers. Some play around and they are not that much disciplined in class. "We probably won't find that in China," Mr. Wang said, "The students are very afraid of them [the teachers]. I like the respect that the Chinese teachers get," he added.
© Copyright Silver International Newspaper, Montgomery Blair H.S. 2004 (This page was created by Mohammed Kayati & Sarah Bucknor)