Yesterday we had a 2-hour "whole school meeting" with some 60+ teachers. Foreign teachers were told they needn't attend as it would be 95% in Chinese but I was encouraged to be there, as a "manager". As it turned out, the real reason was to collect an award alongside half a dozen other teachers - students from our classes had been the most successful in last term's Speaking Competition. A little embarrassing for me, however, as most of my classes are comprised of top students creamed off from other classes to be "hot-housed" with an experienced foreign teacher. The idea is that they can progress more quickly and advertise the school through their competition wins. So their successes are as much down to innate talent as anything I've done (though I do seem to be able to keep them attending our school, which hasn't always been the case. I've taught some of them for nearly 6 years). Anyhow, 5 of the 25 Provincial winners came from my classes and 1 of the 3 who went to the National Finals in Beijing was my student too. I've decided to spend the cash reward on a meal with the other foreign teachers in a couple of week's time.
STOP PRESS: one of our three students who went to the Beijing Finals came third in his age category! That's THIRD in all of China!!
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