Eat your McEikaiwa kids...or we`ll shove it down your throat

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Eat your McEikaiwa kids...or we`ll shove it down your throat

Postby angryboy » Tue Apr 20, 2004 1:30 pm

My problem started about two weeks ago when two mothers wanted to observe their sons lesson.No problem come on in.After that they spoke to the boss then the conversation was passed on to me.They wanted to know why their kids were not further ahead in the book.I simply said that they were exactly where they should be and you cannot judge anyones progress by how many books they have covered.I judge by how well they can speak,read and write and they were making great progress.The bosses exact words were "I agree with you 100%"
Now,these two boys are all round great kids.Eager,well behaved and a good laugh.Bloody smart to.End of story or so I thought.
The next week I went in and there`s a note on the file saying that the 2 slags want a video and a report of the class.10 mins into the lesson and the boss brings in a video and tripod.That just threw me.The fact that the video was for these two bitches to criticize got to me and I am sure the lesson must have looked crap on video.
The next week I come in and the class has shrunk to just these two boys and the boss is preparing the lesson and we were to team teach.I had to sit there and look like a fool and follow the bosses leads while we covered fuck knows how many pages in 40 mins while the boys chanted "Yes he can no he can`t yes I can etc."over and over again.At the end the boss told them that upon consulting with me it was decided that they would be fast tracked.At no time was I ever consulted or anything and these two fucking sluts who ,incidently cant utter a word of English between them, feel they can make a judgement.I am so pissed off about the whole thing.I feel like I was sold out for the sake of McEikaiwa.So pissed off that I am considering quitting.
Anyone else had this kind of experience and what did you do?
And I never saw or was consulted about the report.
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Postby Melodious_Thunk » Tue Apr 20, 2004 1:46 pm

I feel for you because you obviously take pride in what you do and care about the students, but what you are describing is nothing other than the nature of the eikaiwa industry. It is a mass-consumption service industry. The customer is always right, and the customers in your case are the mothers, not the kids. If they don't like the McLesson they're getting, they'll demand that it be done differently, and they are "right." It doesn't matter what you think, and the "school" will always take the customer's side over what it considers to be a temporary worker.

You essentially have three choices:

1. Stop caring and go with the flow
2. Continue to care and become ever more frustrated
3. Leave and go elsewhere, either to another school or to another industry altogether


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Postby valve-bouncer » Tue Apr 20, 2004 1:49 pm

Welcome to the wonderful world of Eikaiwa, where pandering to idiotic mothers takes precedence over actual teaching. That's one of the reasons I enjoy running my own show. If the mothers don't like it tough, that's the way I do it. If it isn't satisfactory they can fuck off to peppy Kids club or some other fucken place.
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Postby sos » Tue Apr 20, 2004 1:52 pm

I agree with MT. I am sorry.

Your boss sounds cool because he did agree with you. But understand your boss was stuck between a rock and a hard place (with the complaints from the moms).

Go with the flow for a little while. In my experience, mother nitpick. But in terms of the kids, if they can't keep up, it will come out. Little things like "I don't wanna go anymore" "It was fun but it isn't anymore" and moms may realize their mistake (though they won't admit it).

While you are still with your current employer, look at your options. Give yourself a time-limit and if things haven't improved, move on, I guess.
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Postby AndreBone » Tue Apr 20, 2004 2:16 pm

MT gave you the best advice. I have been in your shoes before too. The KIDS program at my NOVA was one of the reasons why I quit. I loved working at NOVA before the *second introduction of the KIDS program.

*Nova had a Kids program all along but I think it wasn't until about 3 years ago that they decided to revamp it, beef it up, and started making it the focus of NOVA.
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Postby tarokaja » Tue Apr 20, 2004 3:07 pm

sos said:
But in terms of the kids, if they can't keep up, it will come out. Little things like "I don't wanna go anymore" "It was fun but it isn't anymore" and moms may realize their mistake (though they won't admit it).


But I think in most eikaiwas, if the kids were not happy with their class, the mothers would either just tell the kids "shut up and study, or no sushi for you tonight", or else try to blame it on the teacher.

When I was working at ECC, the mother of one of my five-year-old students evidently told the staff that my teaching must be unsatisfactory, because (after one hour a week for less than a year) her little boy was "not a fluent speaker yet". Never mind that he was actually far and away the brightest in the class... the staff essentially told me "we know that what she's asking for is actually impossible, but please keep the customer happy".
Opinions stated above are not necessarily those of anyone at all. Tarokaja cannot be held liable for accidents involving flying penguins or hot cheese.
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Postby AndreBone » Tue Apr 20, 2004 3:22 pm

tarokaja,

Welcome, and you bring up something very interesting here.

I bet that the staff at these schools are telling parents that because their children are young, they will just "pick up" the language in a matter of no time.

Staff: Your child is young and his brain is still mushy so he can pick up languages really fast!

Ignorant mother: Really? Wow! That's great b/c me and my husband are hopeless with English.

Staff: Well, I'm sure the two of you could benefit from taking lessons as well (hint, hint) but yes, children can pick up language and sounds very quickly.

Ignorant mother: Do you think that just by coming to NOVA, my son will be fluent in English soon?

Staff: Ooooh suuuuuuuure! With the combination of our excellent teaching staff and your son's mushy brain, he will speaking like a native within no time.

Ignorant mother: (Eyes beaming) Sign us up!!!!

They fail to mention that even for a young kid it takes time to acquire a language; along with consistency in using it on a daily basis. Oh, well. If you care, check out MT's advice above.
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Postby Bearcat » Tue Apr 20, 2004 7:39 pm

ECC's staff tend to feed the "become fluent" theme. I've heard em spiel it at some schools. This usually occurs during the signup seasons and gives for alot of problems that then goes on the back of the teachers later.

They dont actually lie but they don't tell the parent "no its impossible" which to me is just the same.

But Im going off on a tangent.

Angryboy, the best thing I can say is just to mirror the above advice.

Don't sweat it. Go with the flow. Those mothers are looking more for things to brag about to others than actually seeing to the education of the kids. Afterall, if the mothers were really really serious, they would be putting these kids in english prgs every day not just an hour a week. Just the same as piano or any other thing. Don't be fooled into thinking they are dunces. They know exactly what they are doing.

Play along with their same game. Trust me, they will last maybe a year or two more in this manner and then they will be off to push their kids into some other program to do the same.

I'd switch your pride in your work to a recipe of customer bend over + enjoy the class + learn.

We get worked up over it but think about all those parents in other countries pushin their kids with baseball, football etc. By the time most of those kids are in HS they all that is just a bad memory for them.

I have to ask this. I hope your manager was saavy enough at least to have made the parents pay more of the "accelerated" program.

He's an idiot if he passed up that chance :P
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Postby Examination_Hell » Tue Apr 20, 2004 7:43 pm

AB above, some very good points, yep, 45 minutes per week he痴 sure to pick up Engrish is no time. How can Japanese parents be so gullible?

Angryboy: Dude that sucks, you had a spineless boss, sure he said he agreed with you, but when push comes to shove, he does the whip-out-the-camera-and-lets-show-the-mums-how-fast-we-can-tear-through-the-book trick. Do these mums want their kids to finish the book or learn some English? If it痴 the former, as Melodious_Thunk says, 都top caring and go with the flow・no matter what u do it痴 not gonna change the way school operates.
If the mums want Taro Jr. to learn English who bloody cares how fast or slow they go through the book!

FWIW

Cheers,

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Postby angryboy » Tue Apr 20, 2004 8:05 pm

Thanks for the advice everyone.The boss is a spineless cunt alright.I cant swallow any of it though.I have been the stalwart at this fucken place for years now.I have put up with the shit pay (it is one of the lowest paying places around),the shitty hours and I have brought more business to the place and made more money for them than anyone else yet my opinion isn`t worth a pinch of shit.It`s worth less than the tuition of 2 students and less than the opinion of two fuckwits.And I have gone above and beyond the call of duty on many occassions,sometimes on my own time (christmas parties,interviews,kissing asses etc.) and I actually felt I could do some good with these two kids before some other cockheaded eikaiwa got them into this sort of groove but now when the lessons become boring it`s all going to come back on me.Fuck fuck fucking fuckety fuckety fuck. :moon: Kiss my ass boss.I`m going for a drink. :drunk: See yaz.
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Postby Ziggy » Tue Apr 20, 2004 8:09 pm

Welcome to the Eikaiwa busisness. Quality is irellivent. Ass kissing and entertaining is relevent.

What these stupid bitches knows counts for nothing. What these dumb twats in all their misguided arrogance think counts for everything.
At Nova it's better to be a high profile shit disturber than a low profile bootlicker.
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Re: Eat your McEikaiwa kids...or we`ll shove it down your th

Postby Ojii » Tue Apr 20, 2004 9:36 pm

angryboy wrote:. . ..They wanted to know why their kids were not further ahead in the book. . . .


Where the f :wnw: ck do you work?

What a sh :poo: t Hole!!!

It's too bad your boss didn't stand up to those holebags.

I guess you could also look at it from his perspective. It's a business and those holebags are paying your salary, so you better put on that clown suit and dance your ass off.
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Postby okazakiOm » Tue Apr 20, 2004 9:45 pm

Demand payment for the video shoot. I'm sure you could dredge up something in the company's rule book or your contract regarding taping lessons.

Or else just present the mommies or the school with a bill for reproducing your classwork and time.

Stir shit up, dude! :twisted:
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Postby Ojii » Wed Apr 21, 2004 1:12 am

okazakiOm wrote:Demand payment for the video shoot. I'm sure you could dredge up something in the company's rule book or your contract regarding taping lessons....


I think that it is seriously f :wnw: cked about the video taping. Are you going to take that kind of sh :poo: t? Listen. People quit eikaiwa jobs all of the time. It痴 not life-time employment. You池e already in Japan with experience teaching. Just go and find another eikaiwa gig. Either that or tell that f :wnw: ckin・ball-less boss of yours to stand up to those holebags.

If you bend over and take it up the ass on this one, you will regret it for the rest of your life. Those holebags are just trying to make you sweat. Tell them to f :wnw: ck off!!! I知 serious about that! STAND YOUR GROUND. You have to tell your boss to f :wnw: ck off on this one.

I致e been in all kinds of teaching situations. My boss or supervisor would ask me to do things at times that I was uncomfortable doing -- teaching kids, allowing observers, dancing, singing, etc... I致e always told them, 哲O・ That was the end of the story. If you let people PUSH YOU OVER, it will continue. Only you can stop it!
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Postby Ojii » Wed Apr 21, 2004 1:30 am

dogdays wrote:. . . I don't work on weekends. Fuck that!! I made that decision and stick by it. Hold your ground. Be a big person. Don't wimp out!


I didn't work on weekends for the last 7 years. I told them to f :wnw: ck off and it worked out great.

Although, this year I started working on Saturdays. I was asked to PLEASE help with a tight schedule. Yeah, okay! I'll help out but only this time! I must be turning too nice or something. Now my weekend is F :wnw: cked!
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Postby ShonaiBen » Wed Apr 21, 2004 9:14 am

After leaving the eikaiwa gigs I made a promise to myself that I would never work another weekend again.
I also avoid kid's classes when possible.
So far so good.
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Postby LeBlueBoy » Wed Apr 21, 2004 9:28 am

Examination_Hell wrote:Dude that sucks, you had a spineless boss, sure he said he agreed with you, but when push comes to shove, he does the whip-out-the-camera-and-lets-show-the-mums-how-fast-we-can-tear-through-the-book trick. Do these mums want their kids to finish the book or learn some English?


Then again it could also be the lets-pacify-the-customer-now-before-they-complain-to-someone-who-will-really-fuck-things-up trick.

SOS wrote:Your boss sounds cool because he did agree with you. But understand your boss was stuck between a rock and a hard place (with the complaints from the moms).


I think S.O.S. has a pretty good grasp at how lower management offers up token solutions and token disciplines to keep the customers from taking their concerns to someone who knows absolutely nothing about teaching languages. Basically its a manuever to keep the higher-ups out of the picture and off the backs of the instructors.

The manager may not have the power to tell the parents to fuck off without serious consequences from upper management. The videotape, if nothing else, is proof that you and the manager attempted to address the issue. If someone complains to his boss, then he has the tape to cover his ass, and yours, and that you both are actively exploring the situation in order to resolve it.
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Postby Samurai_Jerk » Wed Apr 21, 2004 9:51 am

All of this begs the question. Can you run a for profit education business with a the-customer-is-always-right philosophy and still offer sound academics? Whattya think?
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Postby Ojii » Wed Apr 21, 2004 10:21 am

LeBlueBoy wrote:. . . The videotape, if nothing else, is proof that you and the manager attempted to address the issue. If someone complains to his boss, then he has the tape to cover his ass, and yours, and that you both are actively exploring the situation in order to resolve it.


Regardless, that's really the most F :wnw: CKED UP thing I've heard in years. Well, in eikaiwa and my lurking about the message boards, I'd have to say days. It's just a real Sh :poo: tty system all over.

The videotaping is really degrading to this guy. It's also a blow in the gut by the fact that he knows that his manager is NOT on his side but just a little weasle that will do anything and make him do anything if anyone complains.

Is the video taping PUNISHMENT?

If not, those two old bats are going to take it somewhere, for another English teacher to see and look up and down it with a microscope.

If YOU AGREE to have those F :wnw: CKS video tape you, you will regret it. I don't know your financial situation, so sometimes people have to just bend over and take it in the ASS in these cases. If you can avoid it, do so. If not, at least complain.

That kind of Sh :poo: t is not in the job description. If so, you should be getting a hell of a lot more MONEY. Check to see the salary of actors? An eikaiwa won't have enough money to cover your ass.

Anyway, tell them: I'M NOT COMFORTABLE WITH PEOPLE VIDEO-TAPING ME. PLEASE RESPECT THAT AND MYSELF. Just tell that to the mother-f :wnw: cker and the best of luck.
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Postby LeBlueBoy » Wed Apr 21, 2004 11:09 am

Ojii wrote:The videotaping is really degrading to this guy. It's also a blow in the gut by the fact that he knows that his manager is NOT on his side but just a little weasle that will do anything and make him do anything if anyone complains.


It sounds like the manager may be trying to keep a bad situation from becoming worse by keeping the complaints at his level. I agree that angryboy should let his manager know that videotaping the lessons interferes with his ability to teach.

I also think angryboy should look into the "find a teacher" boards and teach students the way he believes is most beneficial. I'd hate to see that enthusiasm killed by a bunch of corporate fuckwits.

HEY...1000 posts, not bad for a former asshat. Congrats!
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Postby nigerian_nampa » Wed Apr 21, 2004 11:30 am

angryboy wrote:I have put up with the shit pay (it is one of the lowest paying places around),the shitty hours and I have brought more business to the place and made more money for them than anyone else yet my opinion isn`t worth a pinch of shit.It`s worth less than the tuition of 2 students and less than the opinion of two fuckwits.And I have gone above and beyond the call of duty on many occassions,sometimes on my own time...


Wow, I thought I wrote that myself...that`s exactly how I felt at the end of my stint at Nova. When you no longer feel valued, then it`s time to move on in my opinion. At Nova I tried Melodius_Thunk option 1 for as long as I could but at the end of the day I still cared, so I couldn`t take it anymore.

For what it`s worth, this doesn`t just happen in Eikaiwa. In my public school experience in Canada, I saw just how militant parents (who know nothing about education) can be when trying to get what they want. School principals will stand up for you most of the time, but this drives the parents even further into a rage so they sometimes back down. Some parents are like wild animals that instinctively want to rip your head off if you get too close to their offspring.
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Postby allblacks » Wed Apr 21, 2004 3:44 pm

I think that the situation is bad. The old hags may actually cause their child to not want to learn English. Stupid really.

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Postby hidflect » Wed Apr 21, 2004 9:19 pm

Look and examine what Japan really is. 90% of people here fit into one of 2 stereotypes. Salaryman or housewife. Terrible but true. Anybody else like Eikaiwa operators has gotta be SO dysfunctional to break out of the norm. There's 2 kinds of state in the universe. What we wish was true and what IS true. I spent 2 years slaving my guts out in a Japanese office for 60 hours a week hoping my diligence would be rewarded. Like hell. I wasted my time. Now I'm over 30 and "over-qualified" for similar jobs (too old).

Getting burned up, burnt out and used over is a common condition here and increasingly everywhere. So I think the hard and unpleasant truth is YOUR to blame for your predicament. When you deal outside the norm in Japan, your as good as dealing with gangsters.

Just because you have some idealism to play with doesn't excuse you from shark attacks from the corporate profit motivated world we live in. The new mantra is: everybody is their OWN little coproration and you have to delineate what is most profitable, or you children starve. Fcked up? I agree 100%. But as the mafioso would say as they stick a gun in your mouth "whaddaya gonna do?"...
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Postby LeBlueBoy » Thu Apr 22, 2004 1:25 am

nigerian_nampa wrote:For what it`s worth, this doesn`t just happen in Eikaiwa. In my public school experience in Canada, I saw just how militant parents (who know nothing about education) can be when trying to get what they want. School principals will stand up for you most of the time, but this drives the parents even further into a rage so they sometimes back down. Some parents are like wild animals that instinctively want to rip your head off if you get too close to their offspring.


It's the same in the U.S. school systems too. A principal has way too many idiots to answer to when a parent makes a complaint. Idealistic and inconvenienced district administration types, and school board members who have no clue how their perfect darlings act inside the classroom. Often a written warning (that disappears after a month or two), or some sort of "proof" that someone (other than their precious babies) are being held accountable for the situation is enough to prevent a shitstorm. It may not be the fairest way of dealing with a bad situation, but it prevents life from becoming miserable for everyone.

If public schools had a "We have the right to refuse service" sign on the doors, it would probably take care of a lot of problems and make life a lot easier for teachers and most of the students. Unfortunately most parents are clueless about what environments are most accomodating for academics, and expect the teachers to spoonfeed knowledge to their kids, and expect the students to learn by osmosis.
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Postby hidflect » Thu Apr 22, 2004 11:03 am

My avatar is Gary Numan. 80's synth-pop legend. Most of his songs obsessed with being a robot or having a robot as a friend. Biggest hit song - Cars. My favourite - Are Friends Electric?

http://www.80smusiclyrics.com/artists/garynuman.htm
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Postby hidflect » Thu Apr 22, 2004 12:31 pm

Wayne Kramer? I'll get right on it... cheers
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Postby duma » Fri Apr 23, 2004 9:00 pm

tarokaja wrote:"we know that what she's asking for is actually impossible, but please keep the customer happy".


WTF is that supposed to mean?

AndreBone wrote:I bet that the staff at these schools are telling parents that because their children are young, they will just "pick up" the language in a matter of no time.

Staff: Your child is young and his brain is still mushy so he can pick up languages really fast!

Ignorant mother: Really? Wow! That's great b/c me and my husband are hopeless with English.

Staff: Well, I'm sure the two of you could benefit from taking lessons as well (hint, hint) but yes, children can pick up language and sounds very quickly.

Ignorant mother: Do you think that just by coming to NOVA, my son will be fluent in English soon?

Staff: Ooooh suuuuuuuure! With the combination of our excellent teaching staff and your son's mushy brain, he will speaking like a native within no time.

Ignorant mother: (Eyes beaming) Sign us up!!!!

They fail to mention that even for a young kid it takes time to acquire a language; along with consistency in using it on a daily basis. Oh, well. If you care, check out MT's advice above.


"If my child takes a 45-minute lesson once a week with a native speaker, does that mean he'll become bilingual?" I've heard that one before. I really despair sometimes.

Bearcat wrote:Don't sweat it. Go with the flow. Those mothers are looking more for things to brag about to others than actually seeing to the education of the kids. Afterall, if the mothers were really really serious, they would be putting these kids in english prgs every day not just an hour a week. Just the same as piano or any other thing. Don't be fooled into thinking they are dunces. They know exactly what they are doing.

Play along with their same game. Trust me, they will last maybe a year or two more in this manner and then they will be off to push their kids into some other program to do the same.


I hate it when this happens. You put all your energy into helping a young kid improve their English then the mother decides come April that it's time for a change and the poor kid has to start tennis lessons instead. Watch the money paid for English lessons wash down the drain as the kids English ability quickly evaporates.

Samurai_Jerk wrote:All of this begs the question. Can you run a for profit education business with a the-customer-is-always-right philosophy and still offer sound academics? Whattya think?


No. Sooner or later it's all going to come crashing down. Give the customer what they want even if it isn't sound academically, but after a while they're going to realize that they aren't learning anything.
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Postby Examination_Hell » Sat Apr 24, 2004 2:24 pm

LeBlueBoy wrote:Then again it could also be the lets-pacify-the-customer-now-before-they-complain-to-someone-who-will-really-fuck-things-up trick.


What gets me is that the mothers/customers are judging all of this by how far the are (or aren't) in the book. Can't they get it through their thick heads that it's not how much of the book you've done but how much they learn/know/can use.

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Postby Examination_Hell » Sat Apr 24, 2004 2:33 pm

duma wrote:Give the customer what they want even if it isn't sound academically, but after a while they're going to realize that they aren't learning anything.


And that's where the trouble starts IMHO.

Give 'em what they want and they/their parents will realise that they're not learning anything and move on.
Teach them what they need to know, what will help them, regardless of how much of the book you've done and they'll complain/jump ship that "it's not fun", "or you're too far behind in the book."

Damned if you do and damned if you don't!

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Postby duma » Sat Apr 24, 2004 8:19 pm

Examination_Hell wrote:What gets me is that the mothers/customers are judging all of this by how far the are (or aren't) in the book. Can't they get it through their thick heads that it's not how much of the book you've done but how much they learn/know/can use.


A really clue-up mother of a girl I used to teach once told me that although she knew that completing a book doesn't necessarily mean any advancement in English, subconsciously or somthing, she somehow felt that it did nomater how illogical it my be. Must have been ingrained into her from the Japanese education system.
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Eikaiwa Hero
 
Posts: 769
Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2003 4:56 pm
Location: 東京の近く

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