Japanese eductional discipline
From our Japanese correspondent, currently under-cover as a teacher.
Well, school here certainly is different.
Teachers don't mind students sleeping in class, and they beat them up, too. For me, personally, I find sleeping in class a little insulting, but I sort of feel too mean to wake them; they're probably up half the night studying for all the tests. That, or trying to get in each other's pants.
Anyway, Sanemasa-sensei knows (from Brad) that it's not the done thing in NZ, so he wakes them up for my benefit; in one afternoon class, no fewer than 13 of my 38 students were asleep and Sanemasa thumped two of them really hard on the back with his fist, and the other students all went "oop" and shut their mouths and opened their eyes. I didn't really know what to do. I mean, christ, he hit them really hard; they yelled and arched their backs a bit and looked shamed out.
But I emailed a [...] staff member about it and she said there's really nothing you can do if students sleep in class or if a teacher whacks them. Apparently some teachers really lay into them, smacking kids in the head and all sorts. Man, I kind of like NZ schools, eh!
Maybe Benson-Pope trained there? Try sleeping with a tennis ball in your gob, punku... Or a thump in the back might be classified as a sort of massage in some cultural contexts?