Photo: Twitter/@komathematicsR
national

Japanese teacher wakes up sleepy students by whipping out realistic model pistol in classroom

39 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

One of the difficult things about teaching English in Japan is figuring out a way to maintain students’ focus and interest. Though English is a compulsory subject and proficiency can be extremely useful in a career with one of Japan’s many internationally focused organizations, Japan’s largely ethnically homogeneous population means that most people have few opportunities to use English in their daily lives, or in the sort of low-level part-time jobs that are most students’ introduction to working society.

So to try to keep their pupils’ motivation strong, some teachers give lengthy talks on the future benefits and opportunities that will come from putting effort into learning English. Others try to make the process more enjoyable by incorporating games into their lessons. And then there’s Japanese Twitter user @komathematicsR’s English teacher, who whipped out an extremely realistic-looking model pistol during his lecture to shock everyone into alertness.

During the lesson, the instructor noticed that some of his students looked pretty drowsy. “You’re all sleepy at this time of day,” he observed. “At times like this, a true educator knows it’s his job to draw out his students’ ability to concentrate,” and his methodology was to grip the model handgun in his right hand and extend his arm.

“Just like the teacher expected, it totally woke everyone up, and the lesson continued,” @komathematicsR reports. “Oh, and of course it wasn’t a real gun. It was a model, with no bullets. I love this teacher because he’s always so funny.” And while it may look like the pistol is aimed squarely at the temple of the woman in the first row, @komathematicsR says that’s just a quirk of the perspective from which the photo was taken, and that the teacher wasn’t actually pointing the barrel at her or anyone else in the classroom. “He wasn’t trying to threaten us. The teacher loves jokes, and the model gun was just an aspect of his sense of humor.”

On the one hand, it’s probably true that a lesson on English composition that starts off with “Classification essays classify an item into several categories” does sound like pretty dry subject matter, and, taken by themselves, the teacher’s realization of that potential problem, and initiative in addressing it, are commendable. And it’s true that his ploy to snap the class back into rapt attention did work, at least according to @komathematicsR.

At the same time, one could definitely argue that Japan’s infamously accurate firearm models aren’t really the best props to use for spicing up boring material, even if there is a new "Star Wars" movie and the teacher is sort of dressed like Han Solo.

Source: Jin

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© SoraNews24

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39 Comments
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In Japan, the first thought would be that it's a model gun. He would have to fire off a round first before anyone thinks otherwise.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Pointing it at his own head would have worked better.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

He could have just put on some Japanese horror movie make up and turned off all the lights

1 ( +1 / -0 )

And this is the sort of person educating the youth, not a teacher merely a repeater.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Idiot. I keep my students on their toes by directing questions at those horse dozing. Solves the problem promptly once they figure it out.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Maybe a bucket of cold water would work better?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

If that first sentence in this article is true for you, you should not be teaching English in Japan.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Should of pulled out a condom not a gun. I agree students need stimulation to study a boring subject, but a gun?

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Sure teaches students how to irresponsibly use a gun, doesn't it?

I remember when a teacher would slam a ruler or chalkboard pointer on the dozing student's desk.  That woke him/her up.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

This is so wrong on so many levels. I suppose it is the lack of gun violence in Japan that makes them childishly naive in playing guns, but a teacher really should know better. Even a "quirky" teacher.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

If that was my school I would fire him immediately! This is nothing to joke about.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

“If that first sentence in this article is true for you, you should not be teaching English in Japan.“

You can keep students focused and interested but they won’t necessarily learn much.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Chilax people.

20 years down the road these kids will be at their reunion and laughing about this guy's antics.

These poor kids are bored to death with chalk and talk teaching they need a good laugh every now and then.

Some of you guys are worse than puritan religious fundamentalists who scold every single moment of lighthearted joy that another person experiences.

Give the guy a raise for thinking outside the box.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Notice the drinks on the desks, the coverlets, and different sweaters.....my bet, this HS is not the "highest" level

“If that first sentence in this article is true for you, you should not be teaching English in Japan.“

He is a JAPANESE English teacher, meaning he's got the job of teaching all that esoteric grammar and crap, he's not their ALT.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

“this HS is not the "highest" level”

Is it a high school? I was wondering, as I could find no mention in the article itself, what level this class was. Glancing at the fellow’s twitter though gave me the impression it is a college classroom. Can’t be bothered to go scroll it again to confirm.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I dont think a foreign teacher teaching English shud pull out a plastic gun.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

At times like this, a true educator knows it’s his job to draw out his students’ ability to concentrate

I don't think so. If they are required to concentrate on the teacher, he's not doing it correctly. Provide motivating and challenging tasks, and you won't need to act like a clown.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

This is not funny or creative. It is extremely bad taste! There was a young driver arrested a few weeks ago for threatening another driver with a replica pistol. This idiot thinks it's acceptable to pull a gun on his students? Whether it's a toy or not is irrelevant!

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Wow, this teacher needs to find a new job. Completely unacceptable behavior coming from an educator.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Seems like a university classroom from the photo and the lesson topic.

Which is neither here nor there. Guy's an idiot.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Being of this calibre... likely why teaching English in Japan. Sad.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Nothing much to add, except a desire to express my frustration at apparantly yet another idiot let loose in a classroom.

No doubt he has all the 'correct' documents to pass an interview, yet demonstrates little common sense.

Unless of course this is an acting class, where such a prop would be suitable.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Another guy who passed the rote memory test to become a teacher, and approved by the BOE. Well done, Japan... well done.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

One of the difficult things about teaching English in Japan is figuring out a way to maintain students’ focus and interest

So stop flogging a dead horse. Stop wasting tax and valuable educational time teaching a subject which yields such atrocious results. Make it an option for those who are interested.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Well I am left speechless. Failure to keep students attention in class is an utter massive failure as a teacher.

Now when I was a teacher in Japan. I did buy a rubber band gatling gun. Depending how you presented it in student centered environment ALT/ELT which. The kids loved it. Especially the younger ones. I used to expand the students spoken structure. If they could remember the structure a week later I let them crank it and reload it and blast away at me or flash cards or the denshi kokuban.

Anything to get that Hello Friends curriculum a little spice. But back on point. Obviously this teacher of English, foreign or Japanese. He thought the shock and awe wake up effect was a good idea.

Fail. Not cool.Not cool at all. No matter the level. No matter the country. No matter what.

This was a bad idea.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Bad choice. He should’ve just gone with “make the class more interesting”

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Notice the drinks on the desks, the coverlets, and different sweaters.....my bet, this HS is not the "highest" level

Notice the desks and the writing on the whiteboard . . . my bet is this is not even a HS. Try university.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Jimizo - So stop flogging a dead horse. Stop wasting tax and valuable educational time teaching a subject which yields such atrocious results. Make it an option for those who are interested.

Actually, English education and proficiency is achievable for all Japanese, but obviously not under the current curriculum structure. It takes around 2,500 hours of study to gain an upper level proficiency in any second language. Students in Japan do around 500 hours of study in both junior and senior high schools, totalling a little over 1,000 hours of study in high school. However, in senior high school they are studying vocabulary and grammar structures at the 2,000+ hour level with no comprehension at all, which leaves them totally bamboozled and disinterested. It should come as no surprise that unimaginative teachers such as this joker resort to ridiculous measures to keep the attention of students.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Jimizo - So stop flogging a dead horse. Stop wasting tax and valuable educational time teaching a subject which yields such atrocious results. Make it an option for those who are interested.

Actually, English education and proficiency is achievable for all Japanese, but obviously not under the current curriculum structure. It takes around 2,500 hours of study to gain an upper level proficiency in any second language. Students in Japan do around 500 hours of study in both junior and senior high schools, totalling a little over 1,000 hours of study in high school. However, in senior high school they are studying vocabulary and grammar structures at the 2,000+ hour level with no comprehension at all, which leaves them totally bamboozled and disinterested. It should come as no surprise that unimaginative teachers such as this joker resort to ridiculous measures to keep the attention of students.

I'd be interested in seeing where those figures come from -- genuinely interested here.  I'm trying to improve my language ability as well as that of my students, and it sounds like there might be a space in there I could adjust to fill.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How about a game of "Hot Potato"? That always wakes the kids up.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I got something to say about this.

There are a countless numbers of horrors a human being should never be exposed to, regardless of any nation they are in. I've had a gun pointed at me and it was not in jest. I was robbed at gun point. Looking down the barrel of a gun pointed at you is a traumatizing experience. You will never the forgot the shape of the barrel and the cold gun metal painted design. It is death. IMO, this teacher is a complete and utter imbecile. A special kind of stupid. Columbine, Sandy Hook, and countless others would find this joke unforgivable. Don't bring that to Japan. Most of who came here to Japan, didn't travel thousands of miles from America to see that here.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Seems like someone was reading too many news stories about mass shootings in the US.

'Sad!'

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And while it may look like the pistol is aimed squarely at the temple of the woman in the first row, @komathematicsR says that’s just a quirk of the perspective from which the photo was taken, and that the teacher wasn’t actually pointing the barrel at her or anyone else in the classroom. “He wasn’t trying to threaten us. The teacher loves jokes, and the model gun was just an aspect of his sense of humor.”

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Actually, English education and proficiency is achievable for all Japanese, but obviously not under the current curriculum structure. It takes around 2,500 hours of study to gain an upper level proficiency in any second language. Students in Japan do around 500 hours of study in both junior and senior high schools, totalling a little over 1,000 hours of study in high school. However, in senior high school they are studying vocabulary and grammar structures at the 2,000+ hour level with no comprehension at all, which leaves them totally bamboozled and disinterested. It should come as no surprise that unimaginative teachers such as this joker resort to ridiculous measures to keep the attention of students.

It sounds like you are saying the current way of teaching English is a waste of time. The results seem to confirm this. The government has been telling us for years how they are going to revamp English education with little or no effect as far as I can see.

It does seem like flogging a dead horse. No disrespect intended to those who teach English at schools, but the results are utterly abysmal.

Most Japanese people do not need English. Why keep throwing money at this?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Back on topic please.

@Steven M. Jankowski - I'd be interested in seeing where those figures come from -- genuinely interested here. 

Just Google it or do some post-grad studies in linguistics and/or TESOL. I'm quite sure the joker in this article could do with some education as well. I'm quite lucky in my current position teaching t a private Jr/Sr high school. I don't do any team teaching, it's all solo teaching. Of course they have stupid English conversation textbooks assigned to each grade, but I only use them for the odd 'memorise and perform' activity and mid-term and final exam listening tests. The rest of the lessons are focussed around producing 'real' English they can use and they practice like crazy to improve their English speaking skill, both junior and senior high. The school complimented me on how much the averages had improved in proficiency tests like Eiken and TEAP, and this is without doing any specific study for them. I have no problems with sleepy or unruly students because they are all interactively involved in every lesson. The joker in this article is just an uneducated twit who thinks its funny and acceptable behavior to threaten students with a flipping gun! Could you imagine the uproar if he had done this in another country like, the US, Australia, etc? This joker would be in jail!!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What the heck is he thinking? here in the UK he now would be looking at 4 years in prison which is a mandatory sentence for any gun related crime, or possession of an illegal held firearm, weather if it is plastic or not, it does not matter. As for doing this in the USA he would probably be dead, because the other student would have a gun, thinking that a class mate was about to be shot, he might just shoot the teacher.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

He has good humor and his lectures must be interesting!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Humour ? This guy is making a mockery of the Gun violence in other Countries, he's a grown adult in a School pointing a gun (albeit fake) at the head of a Student... right, this is cool ? Not.... more like a Sick and Perverted individual. He should be fired on the Spot for potentially traumatising the student he tried it out on.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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