More Chocolate & Punishment in School

17 Apr

LOL – apologies to anyone who read this when the title didn’t contain ‘&’. Chocolate Punishment, mmmmmmm.

Can’t believe I left ya’ll hanging on

“Shou’s chocolate cup-cake mission is another post – a post to be intwined with views on corporal punishment at schools. Chocolate and smacking, hmmmmmm.”

from the last post a MONTH ago. My apologies. You must have been on the edge of your seat all month.

So, rewind to last month. Shou decided he wanted to make some of my fabulous chocolate cupcakes (that I stole off the internet) to give back to the two older girls who gave him sweets on Valentine’s Day. Not wanting a repeat of the ridiculousness surrounding Marina taking her stuff to school Shou and I agreed that we would make them on Monday after school and I would take him to hand them out after dinner.

I was hoping for a few left over but he decided he was going to give the rest out as ‘tomo-choco’ or ‘friend-choco’ to his mates. Girls do the ‘tomo-choco’ thing a lot but I haven’t heard of it becoming a thing between boys. Not one to discourage him though, we wrapped up cupcakes for the other boy in his class, the three boys in 5th grade and one of the boys in 6th grade.

Shou was super excited and in a lovely nice, possibly slightly high on raw cupcake batter, mood as we set off – first stop, the girl he’s liked since he was a first grader. About 37 seconds after he races back to the car after stopping at her house, and with a huge grin and possibly a pink cheek or two, the phone rings. It is from his teacher.

Never a good sign. I have yet to encounter a teacher who rings up purely to tell me how well behaved, intelligent, respectful and nice my kids were that day.

I was driving but can see who the caller is. As I wait for an acceptable place to pull over to ring her back I ask the boy child if there is anything that might possibly have happened at school that day that would warrant a call from his teacher. He says no. This is such a male thing to say. I mean it’s not as if I am about to find out the whole truth when I ring her back!!

I pull over beside a mountain with shithouse cell-phone reception and ring her back just as ten concrete mixers and a gang of motorbike bogans roar pass. Needless to say I could only actually hear 68% of what she was saying.

BUT, from what I could gather, and with my superb ‘fill in the blank’ skills, garnered over years of international marriage and trying to have conversations with old people with no teeth, it seems that Shou and the other boy in his class both got a couple of clips round the side of the head from their teacher.

Not the teacher that I’m on the phone too – that is their Homeroom teacher. The teacher in question is their Japanese language and science teacher. She is as timid as they come and I can only presume she is dealing with a whole shitload of stuff outside of school AND/OR both the boys were being complete fucktards. This said though, there are only Shou and the other boy in the class. Two kids.

Anyhoo, not wanting to ruin Shou’s chocolate cupcake giving outing I choose to keep ‘the conversation’ until we get home.

The rest of the outing is successful, despite a couple of the boys (and their parents) being visibly shocked that boys giving each other chocolate is now a thing.

After discussing the aforementioned smack round the side of the head with Shou it would appear that the other boy was being a dickhead, got the first smack and then later, when he was standing too close to the heater and Shou said something along the lines of ‘don’t stand that close or you might combust in flames’ (or similar) the boy, not liking Shou’s choice of words, tackled him – which is a stupid move when you yourself aren’t that athletically gifted and your opponent is half All Black. Shou did what any kiwi kid would do and tackled him back. Quite well it would seem.

This netted them both a clip round the ears and subsequently put the other boy in a bastardly foul mood that lasted after class finished – prompting their homeroom teacher to ask what the matter was.

Shou was fine when he got home but it seems the other boy wasn’t as fine, as has been the case countless, numerous, untold times in the past. With just the two of them in the entire grade they have a love-hate relationship akin to siblingship.

The homeroom teacher wanted to explain what had happened to us incase the boys came home and said ‘the teacher whacked us’ and didn’t tell us the whole story. In her explanation, and in between concrete mixers and hooligan bikers, she says that ‘she is certain that the person most upset about the whole situation is the teacher’ – which later, when I was relaying the conversation to hub, really started to piss me off. Yes, she was having a bad day. Yes, the two boys were being fuckers. But how can smacking them make the teacher more upset than the boys?

The next morning I see the other boy’s mum at drop off and ask her if she got a phone call from the school. Yes, she did. The boys had a fight didn’t they? That was ALL the teacher told her!! I really don’t understand the discrepancy. I told her their teacher smacked them and she was shocked – and said that explained the foul mood her son was in.

They rang the school back, the teacher in question rang hub up and apologized, the principal was involved yaddah yaddah.

I mean back in the day kids were getting the cane left, right and center and physical punishment was a thing, especially here in Japan, up until quite recently. Now though, teachers can’t get away with it. I feel sorry for them, having to deal with parents who go nutshit when a teacher so much as implies their snowflake child might be flawed in some way.

Never the mind though. Lesson learnt.

Don’t be a cunty fucker during class.




NOTE: I teach a class with four sometimes extremely disruptive and physical boys at the school in the next town over. Their teacher resigned this year, from teaching, at the age of 30. I don’t think teachers should be able to beat on their students but if a kid is being physical and disruptive then I am all for physically removing them from the class and making them sit in the principal’s office (or hallway or where ever) until they can calm the fuck down. This teacher would say things like ‘right, if you aren’t interested in learning you can go to the back of the class while the rest of us learn – so there would be silly bastards at the back of the class while the rest of us are trying, in vain, to belt out a good version of the ‘Days of the Week’ song or similar. One day I had to stop her mid-lesson and go nutshit at the misbehaving boys. I went and sat in the principals office with a coffee and told her to send the boys to get me when they wanted to learn. They came crying and sniveling about five minutes later. Jeeze.

Thoughts on punishment in schools and/or methods of dealing with bad behavior at school welcome.


4 Responses to “More Chocolate & Punishment in School”

  1. Monica April 17, 2017 at 9:54 pm #

    As someone who works in education in America, and used to teach English in Japan, I have to say it is one thing if corporal punishment is allowed at the school and the teacher or principal calmly decides that that is the best way to deal with an issue. It’s something completely different when a teacher just gets mad and whacks a kid. That is not appropriate behavior from an educator no matter what the provocation. How are you supposed to keep kids from hitting each other in anger if the teacher hits her students out of anger? That sends a terrible message!

    Natural consequences tend to be what my school goes for. Can’t manage to walk down the hall without causing issues? Then maybe you should spend part of recess walking around the fence-line so you can practice. Talking or playing during reading time instead of focusing on your book? Then you can make-up the reading time you wasted during computer time.

    Kids that have more issues than others get put on behavior plans that are designed just for them. The behavior plan has both consequences for unacceptable behavior and rewards for going a certain amount of time without having problems. Rewards vary depending on the child and the amount of time they have displayed good behavior. I’ve had kids that earned everything from free-time on the ipad to happy chappy which is a smear of scented chap-stick on the back of their hand. Rewarding good behavior is far more important than handing out punishment for bad behavior. Lots of kids with behavioral issues get to the point where they feel like they aren’t capable of being good, so why should then even try? Once they have been praised and rewarded for some success, then they start to feel like they are capable of doing better.

    I’m not saying I’m perfect or that I have never wanted to smack a kid. I’m not even saying I think corporal punishment is always wrong, but it striking a child in anger is not okay under any circumstances and should never happen.

    • gaijinwife April 17, 2017 at 11:06 pm #

      What a great comment! Thank you 🙂

      Definitely, striking a child in anger is wrong and because this school, and I would say pretty much all Japanese schools now, doesn’t have corporal punishment anymore the fact she whacked them made it as much of a deal as it was. The schools I have experience with here don’t seem to have behavioral schemes in place that cater to different levels. In Shou’s class last year the teacher had a point system and once the entire class as a whole reached 1000 points they had a “point party”. Another way to reinforce the Japanese group mentality. The good kids get loads of points and the not so good kids don’t but still get the reward ya know!

      In my own classes I have an English class money system – they get $3 for coming and participating, more if they ace a test, for good behavior or for anything I deem OK. I also fine them for bad behavior 🙂 Once a month they get to use their money in the ‘English Shop’ (or save it – hopefully up to $500 so then they get a waiver of a months fees – although only one kid seems to be striving towards that!! He might get there before he starts Junior High!

  2. Susan (Eastendmom) April 18, 2017 at 9:12 pm #

    So happy to see you back! I know, the time does fly, especially when you have young kids at home. I myself went to Catholic school back in the day when the nuns used to smack the crap out of anyone misbehaving. I remember the “bad” kids who got hit on a regular basis were taken out in the hallway and we’d hear the nun hitting them up & down the hall with a ruler while the rest of us sat in the classroom, too scared to breathe the wrong way. My own children have no clue! Back in the day I was one of the parent trainers (through a state program) in positive behavior support; we were working with special needs children, but of course it works for any child. Big on rewards & on setting up an atmosphere where children can succeed. I like your idea of money rewards in your classes & sounds like you take a common sense approach to discipline. (I am also big on natural consequences, and became even more so as my children grew older & pretty much past the punishments & rewards stage. Except for more serious incidents which may or may not have included stuff like underage drinking 😉 Universities have really cracked down there).

    • gaijinwife April 19, 2017 at 12:26 am #

      God, I hate to think what worry I put my parents through in high school – and I was the nerdy child!! Well, until 15 anyway, when I had to mix my deputy head librarian duties in with weekend underage drinking, fake IDs and cleaning out spew from between the handbrake in mum’s car… …. shudder shudder. I’m sure they knew, as I had too older sisters paving the way. I don’t know how I’ll cope when it comes to that parenting stage! Am thankful that at least we live so rurally that a lot of the things I did are just not practical or even possible here!

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