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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Friday, November 25, 2005

entry arrow10:31 AM | The Next Wave Away From Here

The American edition of Time Magazine has an article on Filipino teachers in the U.S., and discusses culture shock:

But coming to the U.S. can be a culture shock for people who have worked in countries where educators are accorded great respect. Despite their country's poverty, teachers in the Philippines seldom have to deal with the discipline problems that plague many inner-city public schools in the U.S. In the Philippines students are ritually deferential to teachers and stand to address them. U.S. school districts try to smooth the transition. Tasha Franklin, director of training and teacher development for Baltimore's teaching residency program, led a four-hour workshop in October for the teachers Duque had hired in Manila.

After putting them at ease with softball questions about what inspired them to teach and how they responded to challenges, she asked them how classes in Baltimore compared with ones the teachers had had in the Philippines. Franklin, like most of Baltimore's students, is black, and the Filipino teachers were hesitant to respond at first, fearing they might offend her. "Back home it's so different. It's all obedience and respect," said one. "Here the students are, um, very direct, very bold." Franklin nodded but pushed for more. "Please don't be polite," she urged. Shyly at first but then with increasing frankness, the teachers spoke up:

"They get free lunches, and yet you hear them complain that they don't get anything from the government. In our country poverty means nothing -- no food, nothing."

"They're loud."

"They're intimidating."

I don't think I can ever do this.

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