Getting your Child Ready for School in Taiwan
Traditionally Taiwanese parents never interacted with teachers but now they play an active role in assisting teachers to enable all around development of their children. Elders in the family act as role models for children and parents are regarded as trusted advisors till they become adults. With changing societal regulations about raising children, Taiwan parents are also encouraging children to indulge in creative skills and sports for all round development. As an expatriate parent you have to help your child to become more culturally diverse and open to new ideas and language.
Competition in academics
Taiwanese children are exposed to competition at a young age and parents try to their best to provide all facilities for them to excel in every field. It is rare for a Taiwanese child to question method of instruction and they are taught to concentrate on excelling in the subjects that are discussed in class. Short breaks are given in schools but all children are expected to stay in school between 8 AM to 5 PM as they are expected to revise lessons and complete as much homework as possible before leaving. Due to this contemporary manner of children, they are able to take on the pressures of university education much more lightly and are able to excel in any field of education.
Children of expatriate workers that study in bilingual schools have to learn both English and China which can enhances their social skills and help them to understand local language. But if parents want their wards to learn only English then they can do so at an English medium international school. Teaching is imparted by trained personnel that actively collaborate with parents and encourage students to indulge in creative thinking. In Taiwan expatriates have a choice of several language schools like Japanese, French, German, English and Korean besides Chinese. All internationals schools in Taipei which are affiliated to religious institutions follow their own curriculum and learning methods so the quality of education also varies between them.
School uniform and expected behavior
All private and public schools in Taiwan have to wear sailor suits or stand up collar uniforms in elementary and junior high school. If your child has come from United States then he/she may have difficulty in adjusting to a uniform that does not include jeans or t-shirt worn in a casual manner to school. Taiwan has a formal culture for children and they are expected to be both obedient and well behaved which may be a little difficult for American children as they used to a more causal atmosphere.