Posts Tagged NOVA kids

June 15, 2005 – Breaking up fights, round 2

A few weeks ago I had a kids class where I had to physically restrain one of the students to keep him from beating up another student. I often have some issues with my kids classes, so I don’t think people really understood how crazy the situation was when I tried to explain it.

It happened again today, in full view of parents and staff. The student was upset for some reason, and totally flipped out, trying to attack another student (again). The staff and parents couldn’t get him to calm down or leave the classroom. I ended up doing my best to work with the other kids on the other side of the room.

I would have preferred if nothing like that would ever happen again, but at least this way other people witnessed the situation and hopefully something can be done.

I love teaching English in Japan, but would probably enjoy the job more if I could just teach adults. Teaching kids is a great learning experience, but not always in a good way!

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June 5, 2005 – Problem Child (not the movie)

I got to teach the ‘problem’ kids class again at work today. I will be teaching them for the remainder of the month as usual, and will finish the month with a team teaching seminar with an experienced kids teacher. I have been told that after the team teach, I will have the option of dropping the class.

At this point in my English teaching career, I feel that I am a good or very good teacher for everyone other than children. My students seem to enjoy themselves and I get my fair share of level checks and demo lessons. I just wish I could get better at controlling my kids classes. I would also be happy not having to teach kids anymore, but I don’t think that’s an option 🙂

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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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May 15, 2005 – The worst

Today I had the worst kids class in my entire time teaching English in Japan. I can’t go into too many details because I am still working there and don’t know who is reading my blog, but if I have to continue teaching this class I will start considering my career options. I need a vacation!

(2015 Update) I don’t remember the exact details, but I am pretty sure that my original post was about a terrible experience covering one of Kasparov’s classes because he was “injured”. The kids were completely out of control and just went nuts for 40 minutes, running, screaming and throwing stuff. To make matters worse, Kasparov was looking through the window from the adjacent Voice classroom and laughing at me.

Kasparov (obviously not his real name) was a dick.

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May 11, 2005 – Return to Fuji city

Today I had another shift at Fuji school. Like every other day of the week, I have a group kids class here as well. Fortunately this class only has 2 students, and they were pretty good.

It’s much easier to keep the interest of 2 kids that don’t really want to study English than 8 kids who don’t really want to study English.

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May 4, 2005 – Wednesdays in Fuji

This month I am working Wednesdays at Fuji school. Fuji is short a few people at the moment, so teachers are being temporarily moved between branches to pick up the slack.

Unfortunately, due to the lack of teachers, I will be getting a group kids class on Wednesday. Now I will have one group class for every day of the week. Group kids classes are still my least favourite part of the job.

Other than my kids class, today was pretty quiet. I only had a total of 4 students on the rest of the schedule. It was nice to visit a different branch to see some different students and get some variety on my dinner options.

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April 16, 2005 – 4 days in a row!

My cold is getting worse. I had a lot of sinus pressure making me feel like my eyeballs were going to explode. Thanks to the wonders of daytime cold medicine (from Canada), I managed to survive the day.

Also, the streak of good kids classes has now extended to 4 good classes in 4 days!! This is a pleasant surprise.

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April 13, 2005 – A good kids class!?!?

A good kids class!?!?

The English teaching gods are smiling on me today.

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April 10, 2005 – Pick it up

Today in my NOVA kids class, my 6-9 year old boys decided to empty the garbage can on the floor and run around in circles instead of doing anything that resembled learning English. When the bell rang to end the lesson they all rushed to the door. I stood in front of the door holding the garbage can, made my most serious face, and then told them sternly “pick it up”. The kids looked at me like I was from another planet. I pointed at some of the garbage on the floor and again said “PICK IT UP”. Finally they started getting the idea, and reluctantly picked up the garbage. Nobody got to leave the class until every last scrap of paper was in the can.

If you are ever unsure about having children, I encourage you to teach English to a group of other people’s kids overseas. It is a great form of birth control.

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March 18, 2005 – More games less teaching

Teaching English to kids has always been the most challenging part of my job at NOVA. In talking with my supervisors today, they suggested that I am probably expecting too much from the really young kids in the class.

We are given set lesson plans for each kids class, and are supposed to get through the vocabulary and written homework each class. I have been trying to follow this to the letter, which doesn’t work very well for the young kids.

I now have the green light to let the kids play around and have fun, while exposing them to the lesson English. I will now focus on more games and much less formal “teaching”.

I tested out the new strategy today, and have already seen improvements. Hopefully this will work for some of my other classes as well.

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