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weepinbell
February 25th, 2015, 00:38
Maybe this should go in the lounge? Idk. Anyway, I'd love to hear some stories about your most awkward, awful, ridiculous lessons you've ever had to push through in Japan... I bet a lot of that happened on your first days as on the job, right? Was it kind of fun not knowing what to expect or a big downer for you when a lesson bombed?

mothy
February 25th, 2015, 09:22
Anybody who says they haven't had a lesson bomb is probably a terrible teacher who has terrible lessons constantly without even noticing it. I have had my share, but I don't think they make for interesting stories.

Jiggit
February 25th, 2015, 09:27
The last thing anyone wants to do is relive that experience though, let alone share their ineptitude with the creeps at popular e-bullying nexus, ithinkimlost.com.

uthinkimlost?
February 25th, 2015, 09:32
I have some interesting ones, but I like to tell them IRL, so I won't be sharing them here.

word
February 25th, 2015, 10:46
I dunno; I've had some lessons completely bomb, but when they do, it's usually not all that spectacular a fail, more of a "kids sitting around bored and/or confused as f*ck and not learning anything" kinda thing.

mothy
February 25th, 2015, 11:15
Yeag, that's what I'm saying. Not fun when it's happening, but not anything anyone in their river mind would want to hear a detailed description of.

BeckyJones
February 25th, 2015, 11:24
Having something horrible happen in class is different. Like having a kid vomit on another one, or a kid shit himself.
those are mildly amusing disasters.

mothy
February 25th, 2015, 11:49
Yeah, but that's not really the lesson bombing. I've had a student pass out during class before. Also had a student start bawling for no reason and flee from the classroom. Had one kid punch another kid.
But other than the slight delay whilst those issues got sorted, the lessons went fine.

webstaa
February 25th, 2015, 12:08
Also had a student start bawling for no reason and flee from the classroom.

'Accidentally' told a student that Santa wasn't real and reindeer can't fly...

mothy
February 25th, 2015, 12:37
Here is the conversation leading up to the crying.

Mothy: good morning!
Students: good morning!
Mothy: how are you?
Students: mujtgadmwtgju, and you?
Mothy: i'm fucking incredible. Um, Aya! How are you?
Aya: I...
Aya runs off crying.
Mothy: so... not good, then.

Ini
February 25th, 2015, 12:40
In the basement of the Saitama super arena

me:Let's sing the "hello" song!
student:(crying) my mom died!!!!
me:everyone fucking died, now sing the fucking song

mothy
February 25th, 2015, 12:58
Isn't there a goodbye song you could have gone with instead?

Ini
February 25th, 2015, 13:09
Teach them something new?? Are you mad? All you do in Japan is rehash the same stuff over and over for 15 years. Hello song, what do you like sports? and fruit basket. The holy trinity of English education.

coop52
February 25th, 2015, 17:08
Had a special needs kid cry and demand that I kill him because I asked him if he brought his notebook and he forgot it. He then curled into a little ball and sobbed for like 20 minutes when I told him he couldn't commit seppuku during class.

sharpinthefang
February 25th, 2015, 17:21
One student in the normal class had an epileptic fit when one of the other students turned the lights off. Epi student went over backwards and smacked his head on a desk. Cue the ambulance and end of the lesson.

On a lighter note, fu*k year, my tour starts in 3 hours!

uthinkimlost?
February 25th, 2015, 18:03
T-minus 5 days until chapsonthebum's body is discovered in the burned out RV wreck.

mothy
February 25th, 2015, 18:21
On a lighter note, fu*k year, my tour starts in 3 hours!

I think I'm as sexually liberal as the next guy but if you've planned a fuck year that involves a tour, you're just a hoebag.

sharpinthefang
February 25th, 2015, 18:47
I think I'm as sexually liberal as the next guy but if you've planned a fuck year that involves a tour, you're just a hoebag.
opps, typo phone strikes again!

We didn't go for the RV in the end.

weepinbell
February 26th, 2015, 00:28
Had a special needs kid cry and demand that I kill him because I asked him if he brought his notebook and he forgot it. He then curled into a little ball and sobbed for like 20 minutes when I told him he couldn't commit seppuku during class.

Jesus

Yeah I guess I meant just general mishaps in class and not just 'my kids just stared at me blankly for 10 min' I know that's to be expected. I like hearing about the bad stuff... like generally I really love kids but they also kinda suck, going to another country won't change that. Also hey all that bad stuff clearly makes for some good stories anyway lol. Builds character maybe? Haha

BeckyJones
February 26th, 2015, 08:17
Jesus

Yeah I guess I meant just general mishaps in class and not just 'my kids just stared at me blankly for 10 min' I know that's to be expected. I like hearing about the bad stuff... like generally I really love kids but they also kinda suck, going to another country won't change that. Also hey all that bad stuff clearly makes for some good stories anyway lol. Builds character maybe? Haha
did a lesson plan where we went outside to find leaves to describe. This leaf is red, it's big, it's old... etc (elementary 5th grade btw). I had three kids fall in a puddle, one fall down a hill and not a single one was clean after being outside for 15 minutes.


hows that for a lesson fail?

uthinkimlost?
February 26th, 2015, 08:22
We didn't go for the RV in the end.

gomennasai
T-minus 4 days until ShutouttheSun's bloated corpse is found with "No furnerz!" carved in a delicate location.

Jiggit
February 26th, 2015, 08:30
opps, typo phone strikes again.

Just give it up. We already know you're illiterate.

coop52
February 26th, 2015, 10:23
Jesus

Yeah I guess I meant just general mishaps in class and not just 'my kids just stared at me blankly for 10 min' I know that's to be expected. I like hearing about the bad stuff... like generally I really love kids but they also kinda suck, going to another country won't change that. Also hey all that bad stuff clearly makes for some good stories anyway lol. Builds character maybe? Haha

You generally won't get fail stories beyond "kids sat and stared at me for the whole time" in regular classes, unless you get a school in a bad area. Most of my really out there stories are from special needs, but I had kids in regular classes break windows and cry and whatever, just not during class time.

My most exciting story involved the Japanese equivalent of the SWAT team coming to the school to get a kid. Special needs kid didn't want to go to class and decided judo throwing his homeroom teacher, causing the poor dude to have to wear a neck brace for a while, was the best way to express his feelings. 5 or 6 SWAT dudes showed up and ran through the school looking for this kid while the teachers kept the other kids in their classrooms. This particular school isn't even that bad of a school. A friend of mine who works in Osaka talked about his kids getting into fist fights and punching teachers on a regular basis, including on parents' days.

Ini
February 27th, 2015, 08:10
In everyones favorite prefecture a group tore the small blackboard off the back wall of their 3rd floor classroom and threw it through the window, while it was shut, to the ground below.....

Tunafish
February 27th, 2015, 11:34
Probably when one kid kicked a teacher in the balls. He's quite special, though and has anger issues.

Ananasboat
February 27th, 2015, 13:20
I have this one class in my Thursday school. I know every day is going to be a painful 45 minutes before lunch, because they're dead in the water. They don't want to participate and that's fine, I generally just go around to the kids who do want to participate.

But they go beyond not wanting to do anything. Every single class I know that one kid is going to start crying. I know one kid is going to get THROWN out of class by the teacher. I do mean picked up and forcefully shoved out of the room. Two kids are going to be fighting about something, and that usually will end up with more crying students. One kid is going to sit next to the broom closet in a fetal position, and ignore every redirection offered by the teacher.

And while I'm trying to keep the rest of the kids from staring at the mayhem, I'm also trying to do the lesson. But they don't understand, even when I use Japanese to explain the activity, and even the teacher who I planned this lesson with a week before looks at me when I ask for help explaining like "bitch, you're nuts, I have no clue what's going on."

And it's right before lunch. I can't describe how little I want to be in that class room.

matt360
March 1st, 2015, 16:11
I'm pretty sure I've told this story here before, but this happened several years ago at a special needs visit school. On this particular day there were university student volunteers in the classroom along with the regular teachers, and about 30 tards. At the beginning of every class I have to sing the hello song, and go from student to student and shake each students' hand. I get to this one particularly gnarly-looking special kid and start singing, "Hellooooo, hellooooo, hello how are you?" and waving my hands like a jackass, only to see this wave of embarrassment come over him. It's almost like I can see him diminish as a person. He starts shaking his head wildly and points to his visitor pass on his chest. "Oh fuck!" I thought. He wasn't a tard at all, he was just a really fucking ugly college kid. The lesson itself was actually pretty good. But it was awkward as hell after that and I felt like an asshole. I tried to play it cool, but there was no going back after that. In the end I think I did him a favor though.

Zolrak 22
March 1st, 2015, 18:47
I'm pretty sure I've told this story here before,

Made me chuckle, 8/10 or 9/10. [emoji75]

Jiggit
March 2nd, 2015, 08:33
I'm pretty sure I've told this story here before, but this happened several years ago at a special needs visit school. On this particular day there were university student volunteers in the classroom along with the regular teachers, and about 30 tards. At the beginning of every class I have to sing the hello song, and go from student to student and shake each students' hand. I get to this one particularly gnarly-looking special kid and start singing, "Hellooooo, hellooooo, hello how are you?" and waving my hands like a jackass, only to see this wave of embarrassment come over him. It's almost like I can see him diminish as a person. He starts shaking his head wildly and points to his visitor pass on his chest. "Oh fuck!" I thought. He wasn't a tard at all, he was just a really fucking ugly college kid. The lesson itself was actually pretty good. But it was awkward as hell after that and I felt like an asshole. I tried to play it cool, but there was no going back after that. In the end I think I did him a favor though.

LOL.

In retrospect you probably should have faked like you were doing some "class involvement" schtick and gone round all the uni kids. Then they'd have been like "ohohoho bery funny american joku", but yeah I'd have probably frozen too.

matt360
March 3rd, 2015, 08:11
LOL.

In retrospect you probably should have faked like you were doing some "class involvement" schtick and gone round all the uni kids. Then they'd have been like "ohohoho bery funny american joku", but yeah I'd have probably frozen too.

Yeah, as soon as the class was over I spent some time thinking about what I should have done. And that guy will never forget the day he was mistaken for a special needs child. But in fairness it was his own fault. Uni-brow, stained teeth, a dopey, aloof kind of persona, and that flaky skin ailment that seems to plague lots of Japanese people. He was in pretty bad shape.

Zolrak 22
March 3rd, 2015, 11:06
You convinced me, it's 9/10.

Ebi
April 18th, 2015, 12:45
I think we've all had lessons that "flopped" for one reason or another. The worst that I recall was just a few months or so into my first year.

When I was a bright-eyed newbie, I taught two days a week at my local elementary school. I really like elementary visits now, but honestly the beginning was pretty tough. The previous ALT told me nothing and left no materials or lesson plans of any kind. I later came to realize that he didn't really do lesson plans. I guess he mostly just played random games and then played the guitar.

Since I had nothing else to go off of, I used the elementary "textbook" (Eigo Noto) and built my lessons around that. I worked really hard to make lessons cohesive and smooth and brought my own materials to fill the gaps. It was apparently a big change for the school since I kept getting comments saying, "Wow, you're actually a teacher!"

Unfortunately, I let my ego get the best of me. One day I decided I wasn't going to do massive planning like usual and just do a game and wing the rest. I felt like I was familiar enough with the pattern by that point and I assumed my school had flashcards lying around since I found a big box in storage earlier. Well... there were no flash cards for that lesson and my game finished unexpectedly early. So I decided to start introducing the next lesson's vocab to fill the time, only to realize that I didn't know all of the words in Japanese. So without flash cards, without Japanese to fall back on, and in my class with a Home Room Teacher who was always really uncooperative/completely disinterested in English... everything just fell apart. Luckily there were only a few minutes left so class was quickly over. But I heard kids whispering "wakaranai..." back and forth and I knew that I failed hard.

But at least I learned a lot from my mistakes and I took steps to prevent any of my lessons thereafter from being so abysmally bad. I don't have to write out my lesson plans in detail anymore, but I still do the same mental processes to make sure transitions are smooth and I'm constantly checking student comprehension. And I never completely fly by the seat of my pants unless I'm forced to do so.