Being a Teacher in China Sounds a Little Like Being in the Mafia

It may seem sometimes like America treats its teachers like emulsified shit, which is why it may also seem impossible to imagine a world in which teachers are so well-respected, they're bribed like mafia dons with cash and designer handbags, a world in which parents defer to teachers, a world in which teachers are fanned by wood nymphs and satyrs with palm fronds while students take turns adding to a growing mountain of gift treasure, a world, in short, called China.

Teachers in China aren't duking it out with Gotham City villain Rahm Emanuel for higher pay and more assurances that a sloppily bubbled-in scantron won't be the difference between teacher of the year and second career as an Uno bartender — they're getting all kinds of free stuff from parents who really, really want to make sure that their kids aren't neglected over the course of a school day. Teacher's Day, which rolls around on September 10 in China, is the official give-your-kid's-teacher-awesome-stuff day for Chinese parents. Teachers typically receive vouchers, perfume, scarves, flowers, cash-money, chocolate, and, most importantly, obsequious overtures from parents looking to give their progeny a leg-up.

Teacher's Day, however, is only an official gift-giving holiday — there are plenty of other opportunities throughout a school year to rake in a little more graft. Save for a brief interlude during the Cultural Revolution, teaching has traditionally been a highly-revered tradition in China, according to Business Insider, and, in the same way Chinese government officials have been known to indulge in a little bribery, so too do Chinese teachers exploit their authority to get some bonus goodies, such as Gucci handbags and red envelopes stuffed with cash. Sometimes, those little red envelopes contain as much as $1,600, more or less the amount I wish my second-grade teacher had received every time she had to look at our class' shitty dioramas.

In China, Teachers Get Gucci Bags And Envelopes Full Of Cash [Business Insider]