June 1, 2005 – Breaking up fights

There is a shortage of teachers in the area now, so today I had to teach a group kids class that I had never taught before. It was a Junior group, which had kids aged 6-9.

The class started like any other kids class, but I quickly realized that two of the students didn’t like each other. Let’s call them students A and B. It’s not uncommon to have some students (especially boys) teasing each other or poking at each other, but this is the first time I have ever had a student seriously attack another student before.

I don’t know exactly what set things off, but for some reason student A lunged at student B and started laying the smack down. I pulled student A off and tried to get him to calm down. Student B took this as an opportunity to verbally taunt student A, which just made things worse. A kept trying to escape my grip and get at B again. I was unable to get A to calm down, so I picked him up and removed him from the classroom. He kept trying to get around me and back into the room to keep fighting, so I called the Japanese staff for help. Even with the staff’s help, student A kept trying to get back into the classroom to attack student B again. They ended up keeping him outside the room for several minutes while I returned to my class, and then sat next to him for the rest of the lesson to keep him away from student B.

It goes without saying that this was not my most productive NOVA kids class. I had to write up the entire incident in the kids logbook. Every branch has a book to write about any incidents in kids classes, including fights or injuries. The kids logbook was a great way for teachers to vent, but I am not sure it was actually used by any of the staff for anything else.

If anything, I did manage to keep anyone (including myself) from getting hurt. Breaking up fights between children was definitely NOT in the promotional material for teaching English in Japan!

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  1. June 15, 2005 – Breaking up fights, round 2 | Drinking in Japan

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