September 20, 2008

Teachers from India

There is an article about teachers from India in the Times today. These teachers from India are being hired by American schools because of the shortage of math and science teachers in the U.S. Needless to say, it's a culture shock.

In India, Ms. Tallur was revered. When she entered her classroom, 70 students would rise, stand by their desks, and greet her in unison. “In India a teacher is next to God,” she explained, noting the contrast in behavior.

Now after a year of teaching at Harding in an international program, Ms. Tallur has become used to less respect. She is no longer surprised by profanity in the hallways and students talking out of turn in the classroom.

There's a good quote over here:

“In India, most of the disciplining happens when children are younger,” she said. “It’s easy to bend the stem of a plant when it is young. Once the stem gets strong, it is much harder.”

There's a funny quote over here:

At Bassick High School, Satya Mohan, a physics teacher, said he was surprised the first time a student put his head down on his desk and said, “I am not in the mood to listen today.”

“I thought to myself, well he is being honest,” Dr. Mohan said.

It's good that this is taking place, both in terms of the intercultural exchange and the much needed instruction in math and science.

By the way, I think India must do well in terms of teaching language too. It's not unusual to see Indian authors on the shortlist for the Man Booker prize. They definitely take their education seriously in India.

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