How do you teach those who don’t want to be taught?
With long work hours and a never ending list of responsibilities, Japanese teachers have it rough. And since their job is largely affected by the students they’re teaching, a bunch of rebellious children can test the patience of even the gentlest of teachers.
One cram school tutor took to Twitter to air his experiences with a problematic second year middle school student he recently encountered. It was the student’s first time at cram school, and instead of focusing on his studies, he adopted a know-it-all attitude that grated his tutor to no end: (translations below)
とおり (@Sn_nq) August 04, 2017
とおり (@Sn_nq) August 04, 2017
“Today I had a first-time student in my cram class who rambled about things for the full hour like, ‘My future earnings will come from stocks, so I don’t see the need for me to study,’ or ‘If I seriously went all out playing Internet games, I can easily earn 20 million yen (US$183,250) per month,’ or ‘Effort is a word that doesn’t suit me,’ or even ‘Ah, just incinerate everything.’ “
“The student apparently claims that he earns 200,000 yen ($1,832) per month with gaming, but he won’t go all out since he wouldn’t be able to continue with his student life if he did. When I pointed out his mistakes (on the answer sheet), he replied with ‘Yeah, I was gonna say that,’ or ‘I don’t need to learn this,’ going as far as yawning in my face and saying ‘I should take a nap.’ I don’t want to have him again next week.”
Of course it should be noted right off the bat that the student is almost assuredly lying about his “gaming income.” If he was actually making that much money each month, then not only would he have a substantial following online — so much so that at least some of his classmates would probably know who he is — but he also wouldn’t be attending cram school in the first place. It’s just a classic case of a middle schooler trying to be cool by garnering attention with an obvious lie.
Japanese netizens’ comments were a mix of amusement and concern:
“Parents send their children to cram school to force them to study, which can be quite taxing on the teachers. If the students themselves wish to improve, you wouldn’t see people like these.”
“He sounds like a friend of mine back in middle school. Back then, he proudly declared to the teacher that he would become a host (in a host club), so there was no need for him to study.”
“Those are just fantasies of a middle school student, so just laugh along. Honestly, I like these kinds of children.”
Teachers play an important role in shaping the younger generation, and while we understand students at that age can be quite a handful, taking their complaints in stride and doing your best to guide them is still important.
Although the tutor could have handled it a little more gracefully instead of complaining on Twitter, at least he didn’t slam his pupil against a wall like one guy did.