Now, am I better in China than I was in the States? I doubt it, in fact I'm probably much much worse, since I understood my American students mindsets much better than I understand the Chinese, Indian or European mindsets that I encounter in HK. The truth is, sometimes I'm good and sometimes I'm not, like everyone else. The difference between here and the States is that Americans are too cool for school. So when they enjoy class, when it doesn't suck that much and they actually learned something valuable, the last thing they're ever going to do is admit it.
It's not like that here. Students ask questions when they don't understand, they help each other without being judgmental, and they aren't afraid to give sincere appreciation when they think it's due. Now, I don't teach the kinds of classes where I have power over my students. I don't give grades, I work for a private company and my students come to learn. So this is not ass-kissing. It's sincere appreciation, and it's very refreshing. Teaching is very under-appreciated where I come from, and that's unfortunate (for me anyway). But I dont' really think that's the difference. While Chinese people may be more prone to ignore the negatives, they're also more prone to honestly appreciate the positives in life. I can't say it's rubbed off on me yet, but I wasn't a particularly positive person where I came from either.
So this is my round-about, too cool to admit it, American way of saying thank you to my Chinese students in HK. Thank you for letting me know when you think I helped you. Thank you for telling other people who you knew will tell me, however you like to do it is fine. It makes my day every time. So for those precious moments of sincere appreciation I've received in my short stay in your Hi-tech Village, let me return the favor. Thank you for you tolerance of my bad days, and your sincere appreciation of my good days.