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Thread: Oh great ...

  1. #1
    Comrade therealwindycity's Avatar
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    Default Oh great ...

    I was teaching an Elementary school class today, and when one student kept constantly talking with the kid next to him I tapped him on the head with the laminated picture card I was holding. (Not with the corner or the side.) I wasn't angry or anything, just wanted to get his attention. Anyway, after class the homeroom teacher mentioned that that was a good thing for me to do, since the student paid attention for the rest of the class, which I interpreted to mean "What the hell were you thinking assuming you could do that?!" I fired off a round of bows and "moushi wake gozaimasen," apologizing as much as I could, and of course the HRT did too, saying that he needs to discipline the children better and I should be able to just leave it up to him and I have nothing to apologize for. Now I'm having visions of a telephone call from my supervisor or getting dragged in to be yelled at by a monster parent or the teachers at that school never trusting me with picture cards again.

    Is it just the insanely high expectations for teachers/"public servants" getting to my head, or should I get ready to disembowel myself? I honestly have no idea anymore whether to expect reasonable reactions from anyone involved with the Japanese education system.

  2. #2
    magic markers Gezora's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oh great ...

    Nothing bad is going to happen. I see teachers do that kind of stuff all the time. Discipline puts you between a rock and a hard place. If your HRT just sucks at it you're kind of screwed. You can do other things that draw attention to the fact that he isn't paying attention that might not feel so much like discipline, like singling him out in a joking manner for an activity or something. He may still not care, but he would at least realize you're paying attention to him.
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    Feckless Manchild Otaku word's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oh great ...

    I smack my kids all the time. Playfully, of course; never, ever hard enough to actually hurt a kid. I also call them out, laugh at them, make fun of them, etc. It depends on the kid and the situation. It pays to know your students, know your coworkers, and know yourself in our position. When I first got here, my JTE regularly got on to me about being too lax with the kids; she wanted me to help discipline them.

    So, yeah, sleep guilt-free tonight. You'll be fine.
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Oh great ...

    Why are you interpreting that he meant you shouldn't do that? It's not quite like America or the West here... the teachers touch the kids and are touched back (yeah I know that sounds bad but, whatever). If you are an otherwise good, normal person it won't be an issue. I used to tap kids on the head when they were sleeping and stuff. No big deal... I would just try to limit the amount of touching though.

  5. #5
    Senior Member SleazySauce's Avatar
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    Yeah it seems like you are having a paranoid breakdown here. Not everything said by Japanese coworkers has an alternate meaning or is a suggestion. Now you can probably assume the teacher will do their job next time and you won't have to worry about that bs. I don't see how it is possible to be reprimanded for playfully encouraging a student to pay attention. Have a drink and chill out.

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    Lost in a Strange Land lilyanphino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patjs View Post
    Why are you interpreting that he meant you shouldn't do that? It's not quite like America or the West here... the teachers touch the kids and are touched back (yeah I know that sounds bad but, whatever). If you are an otherwise good, normal person it won't be an issue. I used to tap kids on the head when they were sleeping and stuff. No big deal... I would just try to limit the amount of touching though.
    This. I have to tap my students at times to get them to wake up in class and one time I had to shove a student to get him to go into the classroom. (Kid is huge and I am tiny.)

  7. #7

    Default Re: Oh great ...

    Best part of my job is smacking the boys with their notebooks when they sleep.
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    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    One of my teachers loves having me in the class because she's gotta be 202 or something and can't hit the kids anymore, whereas I can stand there and scare the living bejesus out of them, or tap them on the head lightly with my clipboard She thanks me every time I'm there because the kids behave better in class when I'm around.

  9. #9
    chill yo coop52's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oh great ...

    I had a really noisy kid once, put him in a special desk up front by me, and bopped him on the head every time he talked. He stopped pretty quick. I wouldn't worry about it since everyone does it. Just don't go telling your BOE / supervisor about it.

  10. #10
    Senior Moment Antonath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oh great ...

    I had one kid sleep through half the class. As I was leaving at the end of the lesson, I grabbed the box of tissues from his desk and balanced it on his head. The rest of the kids, and the teacher, thought it was brilliant.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Oh great ...

    I once confiscated a manga comic in my class and the kid told me she'd report me to the BoE. Lols. Good times.

    but don't sweat it. Your teacher was right to say that it's their job to control the kids so either don't worry about it yourself or if a kid is being annoying then just do it again and don't get all keigo about it.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Oh great ...

    Classic falling into the trap of thinking Japanese people always have some secret, incomprehensible meaning behind everything they say or do. Yeah sometimes they try to go the roundabout way but in this instance the guy was just saying "Hey, sorry I wasn't keeping the kids in line. You concentrate on teaching and I'll try to keep my kids better behaved." You can get away with quite a lot. I've seen teachers basically punch kids and not a word is spoken.

  13. #13
    Comrade therealwindycity's Avatar
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    Thanks to everyone for helping me tame my paranoia. It's not that I think that all Japanese people always have a hidden message in what they say, but it seemed pretty clear from his demeanor that he wasn't actually too happy with what I had done - I've worked with this teacher quite a bit, and he didn't seem like himself. Although he might have just been mentally beating himself up for not disciplining the students better. Anyway, this week I don't have to go to that school because of the holiday, so I'll be able to relax a little bit before I have to work with that class again.

  14. #14
    Sociopathic Scroogemcduck MJN's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oh great ...

    Helped another pupil give a student an arm and a leg carry down the stairs today while the teacher watched and laughed, so yea you don't really have a problem.

    As wrong as it sounds, touching pupils doesn't seem to be a problem here. When I did work with kids at home in the UK, we were given an hour long lecture prior to starting saying that touching is, outside the obvious "touching" touching, is a complete no-no, as even handholding can lead to court cases for you being a kiddie fiddler. Obviously.

    In japan though, I've seen all sorts. Seen teachers openly wrestling with pupils, seen them pick them up and carry them about. (All JHS, all I work at). Most of it would probably put political correctness officers and UK teachers into an early grave.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by MJN View Post
    In japan though, I've seen all sorts. Seen teachers openly wrestling with pupils, seen them pick them up and carry them about. (All JHS, all I work at). Most of it would probably put political correctness officers and UK teachers into an early grave.
    Don't forget the a$$ swatting.

  16. #16
    Sociopathic Scroogemcduck MJN's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oh great ...

    Not quite seen that. Seen the kendo teacher rap someones head with a Shinai though, no mask on.

  17. #17
    Lost in a Strange Land lilyanphino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MixedNuts View Post
    Don't forget the a$$ swatting.
    I've seen this so much. It would never fly in U.S. schools.

  18. #18
    chill yo coop52's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oh great ...

    It's funny though, before departure and at almost every orientation, they go on and on about how you should avoid touching the kids since they'll freak out, even if it's just a handshake. When you get here, it's hands everywhere.

  19. #19
    Али Димаев AliDimayev's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oh great ...

    I've witnessed one of the gym teachers slap the piss out of a student. The kid was a punk, so I can't say I was terribly upset. Mushiro, I was happy.

    I think you are fine. YOu merely tapped a student with a laminated card. Christ. I've done worse in America whilst I was teaching there.
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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.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Oh great ...

    I taught at a really rough school and had a class where this one guy and his mate just hammered on the table and kept yelling. After several warnings by me - because the new teacher wasn't even saying to them "stop" - it got to the point where I asked the guy to leave the class. He understood what I meant but refused to leave. I dragged that kid out of class ... literally by the scruff of the neck.

    After class, the "human-rights" teacher came to see me and had a chat. I said I would do the same thing again if required. I refuse to let 1 kid disrupt the learning of 40. We agreed to disagree on our methods, and that was the end of it.

    So yea, don't worry. As others have said, look at the male PE teachers. They can get away with murder (as long as nobody sees them do the disciplining).

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