Teaching English in Japan with Ato: Oi! Shut the hell up!

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Part 4: Actually, I was thinking about it over lunch and I take it back; every Japanese teacher I work with is more or less cool (except for one who’s an a-hole by birth) it seems.

But I re-iterate my other words: there’s very little a foreign teacher can walk into a classroom and do to make the attitudes of most of the kids’ in the Japanese school system attitude any worse.

Even though I’m not an entertainer, I once had a teacher ask me in front of the class to do something stupid like dance around or beatbox and I flat out refused.

However,  this last class I had..man..’listen and repeat’ – ya know the pyramid of similar sounding words that one says and the students try to guess where you come out at the bottom? The teacher consistently would mishear me and misrepeat me. At one time I had to quietly correct her cause she was making the students say the wrong thing.

As usual the discipline was non-existent and I really wanted to walk out. I had two J-teachers ‘helping’ with the class and zero participation still; one kid was doing origami in the back of the class. It wasn’t until I lost it at this one kid –because I couldn’t hear myself think above her constant chattering– that I got some respect; eye-ballin’ me and still talkin’. I was like: ‘OI !OI! OI! – SHUT UP!! WHAT THE HELL, MAN?’

Then we got something done. I don’t know why the Japanese teachers are so afraid. Allowing students to choose to be that ignant and disinterested is like telling them it’s okay to stay ignant and disinterested in the whatever else when they get older – which is exactly how some Japanese act about the world outside Japan.

You know how many Japanese kids I ask for the capital or what the biggest city in Japan is and they give me ‘Hokaido’ as an answer? You know how many Japanese TEACHERS aren’t sure or just plain don’t know?

It’s sick!

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2 Comments

  1. I read all four parts of this post and it was very surprising to say the least. I don’t know anything about the educational system in Japan but I definitely assumed that people there would respect teachers and education. I see that I was wrong in that assumption, at least where teenagers are concerned.

    I have always had a strong interest in Japan and Japanese culture but thanks to sites like this my eyes are constantly being opened to the reality of daily life in Japan. I’ve visited Japan once and I plan to do so again. My view of Japan has changed a bit but I want to thank you for your honesty and insights.

  2. It is the same every where. People make out that the bullcrap don’t happen in japan and that everyone has so much respect but every country has it’s bad apples. I still wanna teach in japan so i can teach them some scottish/carrabian discipline!!

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