Monday, October 15, 2007

Happy Slappy

It was bound to happen. After years in the Japanese schools system I finally witnessed a slapping. I am not sure what I supposed my reaction would be but it turns out it is to do nothing and sit at my desk. I thought someone had just knocked over the printer, but then I noticed the student standing really straight and surprised. I don't really know the teacher, but he is kind of a doofus. I should point out that this is all the way across a very large office form my desk and directly in front of the vice-principal, whom I like very much. The douchebag teacher must have slapped the kid at least three times, hard across the face. For a second I thought it was Ogura from judo club who speaks very softly, except in class where he answers all of the questions and knows a lot about geography. In judo he just kind of shakes his head and remains sure that I am incapable of knowing or doing anything the right way. When I thought it was Ogura I was ready to bound across the room and tackle the guy. No one seemed to react. It was very odd. I would be interested in an explanation. I think it is only a comment on one's failure as a teacher. Although the teacher's role in Japan is essentially the moral upbringing of the child, which brings on new concerns. I would never slap a kid, but I think there are a few who need a physical confrontation to knock them of their bullshit go-kart. Anyway, that teacher will look nothing other than ridiculous to me from now on.

2 comments:

Jennifer said...

I remember seeing my first confrontation between a teacher and a student. It wasn't slapping; they were throwing punches. It was a third-year and one of the PE teachers. It was my first year and I'd heard about the harsh discipline thing but didn't quite believe it. But suddenly it was happening and it was slightly scary; so I called one of the other ALTs to let him know that now I understood what he was talking about since the PE teacher and the student were fighting in the teachers room and nobody seemed that shocked. Little did I know that that ALT was actually at the BOE that day and our supervisor overheard the conversation and the next thing I know Ka-cho was calling the school demanding to know what was going on.
I quietly slunk out the teachers room and hid for the rest of the afternoon.

wwc said...

I think what people might not get about the situation is what outsiders we are, even at schools where we are on good terms with everyone. I don't even know which pencils I am allowed to use, much less where I am allowed to step in and say something. The teachers know the kids and their families and have been to their houses and deal with them everyday. I come in a few times a week and dance around a bit. It leads to a whole slew of other issues about how they keep us outsiders instead of professional educators. Anyway.

attempting to silence the voices in my head.