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Thread: Reprimanding students

  1. #81
    Senior Member Mr. Plainview's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingmongkut View Post
    resurrecting this one too.

    I'll admit I haven't been extremely proactive in getting to know students outside of class. I have an ESS club, but I don't eat lunch with the kids, I don't talk with them an awful lot, etc.

    but today I had my worst disciplined class, and when I was trying to give them a warmup, half of them weren't even facing me. they majority of the class were talking loudly amongst themselves, being rambunctious, and basically acting like it was still breaktime.

    now usually I'm patient and try to get them interested, but people in this class weren't even looking at me. I quieted them down with a "GUYS! QUIET!" yell, which actually worked pretty well. they piped right down.

    of course, the JTE told me afterward that we need to always be patient and that yelling doesn't work. of course he's not willing to help me, thinking it's my job to tell jokes, do physical humor, and become their friends so that stuff never becomes an issue.

    I basically feel like a complete failure now, so does anyone have any advice? should I just chill with that class between periods and chat with them? should I let my JTE know it's not cool to push everything off on me?

    I'm of the opinion that classrooms aren't based on catering to people who need to be babied, but on mutual respect: if I'm presenting, they don't talk, and if they're presenting, I don't talk. but I'm thousands of miles from a place where anyone believes that. what do you all do in this situation?
    don't re-contract. I'm serious. You should at least transfer. Yesterday I had to intervene when a student tried to physically assault an older teacher here. I grabbed him and yelled at him as loud as I could an inch away from his face. The class was shocked and the kid sat down. Now I feel like an ass because I'm suppose to be "the cool guy" and i just went postal on some kid. It's really a bad situation. My school's opinion about what teaching is and my own are far too disparate for me to continue on here, so I'm not re-contracting. I suggest you do the same.

  2. #82
    Senior Member kamukamuume's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Plainview View Post
    don't re-contract. I'm serious. You should at least transfer. Yesterday I had to intervene when a student tried to physically assault an older teacher here. I grabbed him and yelled at him as loud as I could an inch away from his face. The class was shocked and the kid sat down. Now I feel like an ass because I'm suppose to be "the cool guy" and i just went postal on some kid. It's really a bad situation. My school's opinion about what teaching is and my own are far too disparate for me to continue on here, so I'm not re-contracting. I suggest you do the same.
    man, it makes me feel a lot better that I'm not alone in finding some of this stuff not only baffling, but seriously compromising in terms of my morals. at this point I don't have any plans for next year, but I'm thinking I'll probably be an ALT for one more year, though I'm not going to do it at this school, and probably not in this town.

  3. #83
    Али Димаев AliDimayev's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reprimanding students

    Kingmungnut. I have a class exactly like that too. And it is not just with me, but with all the teachers who have that class- students just do whatever they please: talk, throw things, walk around. It is like the classes in the Sister Act movie before Whoopi came in and got them all interested in choir.

    To tell you the truth, in regards to that class, I just don't care anymore. I have decided it is better for me to go in and just try to get something done with the handful of students in that class who actually listen and try and will do stuff. I am not going to waste my time, get my stress up trying to keep everyone else in line.

    The total lack of discipline at my school honestly baffles my mind. At my high school in America there were some kids who didn't give a shit and who liked to cause trouble, but they weren't nearly as bad some of the kids at my school here in Japan. (Obviously, ESID. And I might add that I did not go to some rich-white suburban high school back home, either.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyakuman View Post
    As usual, you all (Aliを除く) have your heads up your asses.

  4. #84
    Senior Member kamukamuume's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AliDimayev View Post
    Kingmungnut. I have a class exactly like that too. And it is not just with me, but with all the teachers who have that class- students just do whatever they please: talk, throw things, walk around. It is like the classes in the Sister Act movie before Whoopi came in and got them all interested in choir.

    To tell you the truth, in regards to that class, I just don't care anymore. I have decided it is better for me to go in and just try to get something done with the handful of students in that class who actually listen and try and will do stuff. I am not going to waste my time, get my stress up trying to keep everyone else in line.

    The total lack of discipline at my school honestly baffles my mind. At my high school in America there were some kids who didn't give a shit and who liked to cause trouble, but they weren't nearly as bad some of the kids at my school here in Japan. (Obviously, ESID. And I might add that I did not go to some rich-white suburban high school back home, either.)
    I agree with you, but I'm not allowed not to care. the JTE I teach with is convinced that if they fall asleep or refuse to pay attention, it's because I didn't do enough to entertain them.

    he has me write an article (current news in America, something cultural, etc.) EVERY single lesson, so the majority of the class is us going over the article and then answering questions about it. but he's told me several times that I need to use a "special skill," that I have to "make them dance," that it's "our job as teachers" to get them interested. I've added warmups to the class, upped the level of genkiness, made the questions easier, modified the format, etc. but when no one even pays attention to me (even as I'm doing a quiz game for a warmup), I lose heart pretty quickly.

    yesterday I taught them about the California roll and how it's inside-out. my teacher was like "inside-out? do you know UPSIDE-DOWN, kids?" and then he did a handstand and leaned his legs on the wall. they stopped talking for like 10 seconds and clapped, and that was his proof that it can be done.

    that they watch people do handstands.

    of course they went right back to talking afterward, but hey.

  5. #85
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    I think you did the right thing, too. The kids need to respect you, and just being goofy at them while they're obviously being so rude will not make them respect you. I mean, you don't want to be Ivan the Terrible, but you can't be Bozo the Clown all the time either.

    I don't know if my techniques are any good for your situation, but here are some things I do when the kids are loud/not facing me:

    Clap my hands loudly.

    Walk into the middle of their rows of desks, looking annoyed.

    Make a hand signal for quiet, and get all the kids to do it, too. Walk over to the desk and stare icily at whoever is not doing it, until they comply like the rest of the class. Peer pressure.

    As soon as they are quiet, I go back to smiling. Then I speak very, very softly, so that everyone has to stay quiet to hear me.

    I refuse to conduct the class in a way that will damage my throat. Class will not continue until they quiet down themselves or the JTE shuts them up.

    Quote Originally Posted by kingmongkut View Post
    I feel like it might be kind of weird to just walk into the classroom and start eating lunch, but maybe I should give it a shot.
    I'm at a high school, too, and none of the teachers eat lunch with the kids. I asked when I first got here if I should, and got a weird look back. It's hard to connect with high school kids, because they're all doing their own thing.

  6. #86
    Feckless Manchild Otaku word's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by violetessence View Post
    Make a hand signal for quiet, and get all the kids to do it, too. Walk over to the desk and stare icily at whoever is not doing it, until they comply like the rest of the class. Peer pressure.
    I did this in the 'States; it works really well. Just a raised hand or something will do. Every kid will end up staring at whoever's last to raise their hand and shut up. So far I haven't needed to have a system like this, but if any of my classes get outta hand, I'll go back to it.
    Last edited by word; November 14th, 2009 at 11:27. Reason: Correction of grammar errors...
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  7. #87
    Али Димаев AliDimayev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by word View Post
    I did this in the 'States; it works really well. Just a raised hand or something will do. Every kids will end up staring at whoever's last to raise their hand and shut up. So far I haven't needed to have a system like this, but if any of my classes get outta hand, I'll go back to it.
    I had a teacher, a health teacher who did a similar thing in middle school. He had taken a red plastic ruler and taped to it an octagon he had cut out from red construction paper and had written STOP on it. He made himself a stop sign. He would hold it up when he wanted the class to stop talking. Needless to say, it just made everyone laugh and begin to talk even more/more loudly.

    I only have one bad class now in my school where nothing seems to work. In my other classes if some students are being too talkative I just have to say, "Hey guys, take it down a notch" and most always comply. Sometimes if someone gets a little out of hand I have him/her come to the front of the room and demonstrate some English (such as reciting the alphabet backwards, or just naming the months of the year, or translating some vocabulary we've recently did, etc.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyakuman View Post
    As usual, you all (Aliを除く) have your heads up your asses.

  8. #88

    Default Re: Reprimanding students

    The kids don't necessarily respect me as a teacher/view me as one, but they seem to respect me as a person (if that makes sense?) so if I stop talking or tell them to quiet down they normally listen. I've had one or two instances where the teacher leaves or it's been me on my own in class and they tried to test me, but the second I raised my voice or anything they calmed right down.

    I think our kids are pretty tame though from what I hear...

  9. #89
    Senior Member kamukamuume's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by violetessence View Post
    I think you did the right thing, too. The kids need to respect you, and just being goofy at them while they're obviously being so rude will not make them respect you. I mean, you don't want to be Ivan the Terrible, but you can't be Bozo the Clown all the time either.

    I don't know if my techniques are any good for your situation, but here are some things I do when the kids are loud/not facing me:

    Clap my hands loudly.

    Walk into the middle of their rows of desks, looking annoyed.

    Make a hand signal for quiet, and get all the kids to do it, too. Walk over to the desk and stare icily at whoever is not doing it, until they comply like the rest of the class. Peer pressure.

    As soon as they are quiet, I go back to smiling. Then I speak very, very softly, so that everyone has to stay quiet to hear me.

    I refuse to conduct the class in a way that will damage my throat. Class will not continue until they quiet down themselves or the JTE shuts them up.



    I'm at a high school, too, and none of the teachers eat lunch with the kids. I asked when I first got here if I should, and got a weird look back. It's hard to connect with high school kids, because they're all doing their own thing.
    thanks for your reply! these are all good ideas. I like the hand signal one. as for clapping hands, for some reason I can't clap especially loudly. I always end up hurting my hands, and my clap isn't half as loud as the students are being anyway.

    it all boils down to this teacher now. he's actually been much more welcoming and hospitable than the other JTEs, so this has been quite a shock for me. (for example, when I lost my hanko, my supervisor was like "gee, I dunno where you can buy one. I'll just call your BOE." this JTE called up his own personal hanko shop and ordered one for me without missing a beat.)

    I think his main message here is that the kids are being loud because I'm not interesting enough. it's not about quieting the kids down, but about being interesting enough that they won't ever become loud. since I'm by nature extremely low-key, I generally make up for it by making well-thought-out lessons, nicely organized worksheets, games that are simple to understand and fun, etc.

    but this class in particular doesn't respond regardless. I guess this teacher has in his mind an idea of what an ALT should be, and I'll give myself a nervous breakdown before I'm able to become that ALT.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kingmongkut View Post
    I think his main message here is that the kids are being loud because I'm not interesting enough. it's not about quieting the kids down, but about being interesting enough that they won't ever become loud. since I'm by nature extremely low-key, I generally make up for it by making well-thought-out lessons, nicely organized worksheets, games that are simple to understand and fun, etc.

    but this class in particular doesn't respond regardless. I guess this teacher has in his mind an idea of what an ALT should be, and I'll give myself a nervous breakdown before I'm able to become that ALT.
    i know it's not very "japanese," but have you tried talking to him directly about your differing views about the role of an ALT? i personally am a very direct and candid kind of person, and have found that sometimes just discussing things with the JTE in such a way is so unusual to them that they are disarmed and actually listen a little better. it doesn't always work, but it might be worth a try.

    i have a JTE that sounds kind of similar to yours, but generally i just kind of speak with her logically and ask questions about WHY a situation is like this, WHY i have to do that, what the purpose of things are, etc. i play it off as things being a cultural difference i don't understand (which is actually true - the school system here is not like anything i'm used to.) in that way they don't get offended by me asking - if they're cool, they understand that cultural differences exist, and it they're lame, i think they secretly enjoy thinking foreign ppl are SO DIFFERENT, or can't understand their superior japanese ways. either way, they don't get as offended at simply being asked.

    now, some teachers haven't been able to answer my questions ("why" questions - kryptonite to many ppl at my school!) but in that case they'll usually become so befuddled that they just let me do what i want. the teachers that are more thoughtful and considerate can give me some insight at times, and that way when i end up doing whatever i want with lame JTEs, i have some real knowledge or advice to base it on.

    so basically, what i have done is make myself a total pain to some teachers and completely endeared myself to others for actually giving a damn. it might go either way with your JTE, but at the point you're at, it might be worth a try.

  11. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingmongkut View Post
    I think his main message here is that the kids are being loud because I'm not interesting enough. it's not about quieting the kids down, but about being interesting enough that they won't ever become loud.
    I'm certain that his idea is not how it works. Of course talking with their friends is more interesting to them than English class, but this is school. They are being loud because they can get away with it, not because of you. Yes, it's great to be interesting, and I think teachers should aspire to fun classes. However, in order to teach challenging material like a foreign language, there are going to be parts that aren't all fun and games. Doing handstands all class is not educational. Don't feel bad about yourself because, in my opinion, that JTE is causing the problem by allowing the kids to be rude with no consequences.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AliDimayev View Post
    Or bring a list in of the countries that use English as a daily langguage.

    AND THEN MAKE A LIST OF COUNTRIES WHERE JAPANESE IS A DAILY LANGUAGE:
    Has anyone actually done this? After another lesson being ignored by my trickiest class (who all then signed off their Christmas cards to my predecessor with 'Finally, decorate your cards', after most of them had written seasonally appropriate messages of good cheer like 'I don't like David') and receiving no assistance (yet again) from my JTE, I would really like to try to demonstrate their idiocy to them. I was wondering if anyone had had any luck with this...

    I was thinking of colouring in a world map or something.

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