Part 13: Guava Jelly writes: “Great stories everyone. I am truly enjoying this thread. I taught in a public jhs in rural japan several years ago (on Sado ga shima). 4 of the 5 schools I rotated through were amazing. The students were very sweet and respectful but one was horrific.
The first day I got there the students weren’t impressed one bit that I was the shiny, happy, new foreign teacher. One girl chased a boy around the classroom with scissors. One little boy passed me in the hallway during cleaning period and slithered, “ummmm, sexual chocolate.” I don’t know what gross porno that kid was watching at home but I definitely didn’t need to hear him practice his English with me like that. The other teachers caved into the pressure from some very vocal parents in that town. I saw all kinds of major disciplinary problems there and the teachers looked the other way or shouted over disrespectful students during lessons. Having been a teacher for years before coming to Japan, I was dumbfounded how this could take place and never got used to it.
At one of my other schools, on the other hand, I worked very closely with a hard, old school, older woman who had no fear of the whining parents of bad students. Two kids talking during her lesson in class. No problem. She’d knock their heads together. Although one student, who I believe should have been in a special ed class and who acted out quite a bit, would sleep through almost all lessons and was her exception to her usual disciplining. She told me to leave him be because he “had a bad heart.” Hmmmm…
Anyway, that sensei, was an unusual and eclectic woman anyway though — she could tell you all about the life of Paul Robeson and was so well read on black American history. She let me give a short lesson on Japanese colonialism in Okinawa (where my mama is from) in her class — a BIG no no for most teachers, the school, the whole department of education! She was my biggest ally and hero while I was teaching there.More stories on mixed kids who were teased/bullied because of their hair texture. Anyone else run into bullying based on race?”