The meeting today was made up of 9 Chinese local hired faculty and 2 foreign hired elementary teacher. As we opened for the day we reintroduced ourselves and I asked that we share our education. Where we were schooled and what our degrees were in.
As we went around the circle it was evident that 9/10 Chinese teachers had higher education degrees in Bachelor or Master's degrees in various fields such as design, linguistics, English. One teacher was in the process of getting more education and finishing a degree.
It was clear from the conversation that many teachers despite having worked with each other for long periods of time didn't know that they held similar degrees or had worked in similar fields of study.
When reading between the lines this could mean that not enough time is given for teachers to develop those personal conversations, or culturally this is not a big part of what the teachers talk about. I will have to dig deeper to understand the why behind that unknown.
I wish that more foreign (Western) teachers would come to the meetings as I think that there is a soft sell for equity when teachers hear about the high level of education and experience the locally hired teachers have. Even in a quick circle introduction there were a lot of vocalizations of "wow" "great job" "that's so interesting!" that added to establishing gracious space.