Hayden’s preschool (part 2)

September 4, 2009

Went to school with Hayden this morning and observed another cultural difference. I figure I better document all this for all my expat friends who might eventually consider sending their children to Chinese local schools.

I remember last year at Lizzy’s International school, they had a Sports Day. There were several activities, potato sacks, relays, ball tosses, etc. the kids participated in. I found it amusing the teachers stressed there were no winners or losers. At the end of the day, everyone got a fun little keychain for the fun day they had.

Chinese society is extremely competitive. Think overpopulation: too many people trying to compete for limited roles and resources. From the very beginning of students’ educational career, they are required to face immense competition in order to get ahead. The entire system is built around competition.

This morning, Hayden’s school had a relay race. They divided the kids up into two teams. The six year olds did really well and practically finished at the exact same time. The teacher announced, “that was really close, but there is still a winning team and a losing team. Victory to the yellow team!” The kids on the yellow team all jumped up and down and waved their V signs. Amazing how they are already instilling the concept of competition into these little ones. I was amazed at how none of the green team members pouted or threw tantrums, they just accepted being on the losing team.

Hmmm…is that why my American husband is always telling me: “Cindy, it’s not a competition.”