Their teacher is Qian Zhang. She just came to the U.S. from China a couple of months ago, and she's still getting accustomed to our culture.
When KARK 4 Reporter Adam Rodriguez interviewed her for tonight's "Beyond the Book" report, they had an interesting exchange about the differences. Most notably, she said that Chinese children are extremely obedient, and American children need a lot of oversight.
Also, she thinks teachers in America have to work too much!
Here's a partial transcript of their discussion:
Qian Zhang says: In China, all the teachers, they have a common room, an office room. They don't sit in their own room. Also, they can talk with each other.
I think classroom teachers here, they're doing too much work. Compared to Chinese teachers, you know, they have to walk this kid to the bathroom, to the cafeteria to my classroom.
The kids have just like 10 minutes of recess time every day. And they can't talk in the line. I mean, they are kids right? They are very energetic, they want to communicate with peers, they can't listen to anything, I don't know how to say it.
Q.: It's more controlled, that's what you're saying?
A.: Maybe. In China, if the class is beginning, you go to a classroom. You are supposed to go. After class is dismissed, you can go to a playground. You can go to anywhere you want, just they have to be responsible for their own, something, their own class. They don't need teachers to tell them, or to walk them where to go.
Q.: You mean there's a little more independence, there?
A.: The children have more independence. I think so. I talked to my colleagues. They think the children here, they're too energetic, you know. If you let them go anywhere they want, they hurt each other. They'll go crazy. Look at this guy, he's going crazy right now. (Student) I heard that. Uh oh. You're supposed to hear that.
Q: In other words, they need that oversight? They need, American students, they need more control? Or they need more supervision? Is that right? Maybe Chinese students, they're better at policing or taking care of their own behavior?
A: Chinese students, they don't have so many behavior problems as American students. I don't know, I'm still figuring it out. Chinese students are more quiet in class, and they are shy, but American students, they want to show themselves, and they can be very noisy, and they can be very chaotic. And they can be chaotic easily, you know?
Tune in tonight at 6 for more on the story in Adam's "Beyond the Book" report.