Back into it again, finally

8 09 2009

Finally, I’m back into it. After soooooo long of no classes I’m back into my normal schedule again.

I looked it up, my last normal classes were July 16th. Since then I’ve had my 4 weeks vacation (woo hoo), 1 week of swine flu quarantine, and then it was into school exam periods, meaning most of my classes were cancelled so the teachers can concentrate on improving the marks.

What made this exam session worse than most is it was a provincial wide set of Middle School exams. Translated, a competition between schools, with the Principals jostling to be the best in town. Unfortunately this meant ridiculous numbers of extra classes, weekend classes, night classes, extra study etc for the kids. And all so the principals can show off to their principal mates. I don’t even know how much the results actually matter to the students.

Even crazier is the kids have school mid term exams at the end of this month for a few days, then 3rd grade have an important set of exams mid October, followed by another set of 3rd grade exams at the start of November. This is all finished up with school exams for all in December followed by High School entrance exams a week later and then a national testing day just before christmas.

And this is for Middle School. Its much much worse for High School. No wonder these kids are going crazy.

Maybe things have changed in Australia since I was at school, but I remember starting school about 8.30, finishing about 3.30pm. Maybe some after school sport or cadets or something and then home again. Monday to Friday. Sometimes sport on Saturday, but never classes. Exams were once a term, with very occasional state wide or national tests.

Here my poor students rock up about 7.30am, go home about 6pm, Monday thru Friday. Then go straight to private study academies for a few hours, then maybe a study room, then home and to bed maybe 12 or 1am if they are lucky. Saturday school happens every 2nd Saturday and is a day full of exams. Again, these are Middle School kids. Academic High School kids rarely leave school before 10pm, 7 days a week.

I blame the mothers here for all the pressure. They are the ones forcing the kids to study so much, pushing the schools to provide extra classes for their sons or daughters, so they can sleep less and study more in order to get into a good high school so they can hopefully go to a good university.

Oh well. Its their system. I just try to fit around it as best as possible. We can’t change it, but the best we can do is at least make English conversation classes more fun and relaxing, allow the kids to be kids and have a laugh. If they enjoy it, I enjoy it. And they are such a nice bunch of Kids too.


This is Nadia. One of the best and funniest girls. She’s going to kill me.

PS, end of rant.



One response

10 09 2009

Love the shirt MIke , would have been good for Dad’s loud shirt party. Poor kids having all those exams.

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