Teaching in China over the last month has been quite the experience. The students I've been working with all plan to go to universities overseas so I have been able to teach in English. One thing I've noticed however is that China seems to be more results driven than schools in Canada. Every thing seems to be done with the end goal that students do well on the exams. Even in the labs, I hear things like "Make multiple measurements so you do better on the lab exam" whereas in Canada students would be encouraged to make multiple measurements as it is more reflective of how science is done in the real world. Lectures also seem very motivated by students doing well on exams. I wonder though if that's just a result of the uniqueness of my position in the schools I've been in. Since students are intending to pass international exams such as the SAT or A-levels, there is more pressure on teachers to ensure students do well. As well, students have two teachers for each course: a Chinese teacher, and a foreign teacher. So far I have been working primarily with the foreign teachers, but it would be interesting to see what a Chinese class is like. As the class is done in Chinese however I'm not sure how much benefit I would get from observing. I have gotten along very well with my students. It's interesting to see how similar they are to students in Canada despite living in a country that is so different. It really makes the world seem smaller.
Apart from the extra practice teaching, this TAB experience has provided me with many additional benefits with respect to teaching physics. Since the classes are based around A-level physics, I've gotten to see a different curriculum than ours. I've also gotten the chance to learn about teaching physics from a number of teachers who have unique perspectives since they are from different countries. They've given me lots of useful resources that I likely wouldn't have seen in North America.