borrowed from a letter to my favorite science teacher - Chuck Caley, in Toledo
1. Living in Korea obviously new food, incredibly hard working and motivated people who go out of their way to help.
2. Vision oriented leadership You have to hear our headmaster talk about his vision for kids and for character building and academics. WOW! Here the leaders LEAD and the caliber of teacher is remarkable. I was "called on the carpet" by my vice principal (in a nice way) last week and walked out of his office with a clearer vision of the difference between formative and summative assessment as well as a desire to do better and be better. That's the kind of boss everybody needs!
3. Gifted kids This one is a double edged sword. Since it is a private expensive school, obviously they are the cream of the economic crop and that means you have few "poor" kids (if they're here they're here on scholarships) so the opportunity to "help the needy" is less... Well it seems less on the surface until you get to know the kids and then you realize all kids are similar with similar needs regardless their parents income level! Anyway, with parents who are CEOs, PhDs in physics or medical doctors, heads of comapnies, etc., these kids have good brains and use them (for the most part! :)
4. Supportive parents During teacher conferences last week I talked stead to parents from 1:00 pm till 8:00 pm with only 30 minutes for supper then the next day from 9:00 am to 3:00 with a one hour break and about a 30 minute pause. Wow! All these kids have moms and dads who want them to do well and want to talk to you about what THEY (the parents) and the kids can do to bring their grades up from 89% to 95% or how to motivate them. Yesterday in math a girl shoved something under the table when I glanced at her in class so I went to see if it was a cell phone and it turns out it was supplementary work in math that her parents want her to do to build her skills even while she is in school and taking classes! Isn't that amazing? And while it is high demand and high work and high stress, it is part of the culture and the way they do it. AMAZING!