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#401050 - 07/02/08 08:08 AM Small Rant...
marmaduke Offline
Member

Registered: 10/26/06
Posts: 177
Loc: Ohio
I got to get this off my chest. I'm really mad about it.

Friday is a holiday so the regular Karate classes for that day are cancelled. The students from those classes are allowed to come to any other class to make up the time. Yesterday were three "normal" classes. My son taught the first class. A normal class is about 6-8 young kids. Yesterday there were 15. Just the Sensei and my son. Sensei had to man the phones for most of the class which left my son alone. None of the other instructors showed up.

It seemed every kid forgot his dose of Ridlin. Chaos was an understatement. One kid had to visit his mother every 5 minutes, another had to turn around and wave to his mother. A third had to go to the bathroom or get a drink of water or adjust his belt every two minutes. And one little girl had to hug my son every chance she got. And so on.

My son separated the higher ranks and sent them off to the side to practice their Bo forms. Which left him all the white belts. No one wanted to co-operate. And to top it off, one of the mothers decided to complain about my sons poor teaching. (While her own son was a royal pain which she totally ignored.) She was one of the Friday class that showed up.
Sensei tried to explain that the class was oversized due to parents showing up un-announced. That it would have been preferred if the parents called so thay could be notified if the class was overbooked or not. (Right over her head)
Also that they were short on instructors for the class. Also over her head. All she did was complain.

I asked my son about it after class. About discipling the kids or something. his first reaction was "what, and loose the kids?" I kind of get his point. The school is there to make money, not loose students/parents.

So I guess after all my ranting, my question is..how do you controll the uncontrollable? How do you get little kids to behave, listen to you? (when all they do is the complete opposite of what you tell them) As a parent, I can understand not getting forcefull with young kids so their parents don't complain, but geez. Last night I wanted to tell my son to get his Katana.

Oh, and at the end of class, two instructors showed up. One came from work, the other from her college class. Another instructor who usually helps out is a firefighter. He's there when his schedule allows. No one is really definite there. But the rule is, two instructors per class.
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#401051 - 07/02/08 08:15 AM Re: Small Rant... [Re: marmaduke]
Zyranyth Offline
Member

Registered: 09/13/06
Posts: 188
Loc: Finland
From my experience, you don't control them when their parents are around. I think its for the better that the parents aren't present while the kids are there. Have them do a bit of arm presses when they get out of line, and most importantly, just keep them busy doing things. They're kids after all, and their attention span is probably shorter than mine (and mine is really short!).
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"Only a warrior chooses pacifism; others are condemned to it. "

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#401052 - 07/02/08 08:38 AM Re: Small Rant... [Re: Zyranyth]
marmaduke Offline
Member

Registered: 10/26/06
Posts: 177
Loc: Ohio
So how do you tell a parent to leave so you can discipline their kid? I would prefer the parent be there rather than have the parent drop the kid off and have the Dojo act as a baby sitting service. At least this way, there is some control coming from the parent. The child can't really get away with anything if their mother is sitting right there watching. (for whatever good that does. I've seen one child have a temper tantrum in the middle of class and the mother totally ignored him. Too busy talking to her friend.)
_________________________
It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

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#401053 - 07/02/08 09:13 AM Re: Small Rant... [Re: marmaduke]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Sensei has his priorities messed up. 'Man the phones?' That is what voicemail is for. Or come in early, or stay afterwards to deal with the messages. Two people on the floor means two people on the floor. I've been in this situation myself...where a boss schedules himself as a necessary body on the floor...and then does admin stuff instead...leaving the regular staff to carry his weight.

As for discipline...you are railing against the wind. No sixteen year old is going to get respect from a crowd/gang...especially when the parents there give tacit approval for such behavior. I've been in a McDojo where my son was abused in just the same way...and while the rest of the yuppie parents sat there reading, and ignoring the mess, got off my butt and had to get onto the mat to reestablish control.

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#401054 - 07/02/08 09:28 AM Re: Small Rant... [Re: harlan]
dandjurdjevic Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/10/08
Posts: 844
Loc: Australia
Way to go Narda!
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#401055 - 07/02/08 09:57 AM Re: Small Rant... [Re: marmaduke]
JasonM Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 2502
You should talk to the parents or sensei should. And worse case is, tell the parents their kids have to miss class because they are not listening. Noone wants to loose students but you don't want an uncontrollable class. Also, maybe your son should not be teaching young kids just yet. Especially, with the parents there because a parent, I am guessing is not going to listen or take the avice of a 16 year old. Which is why I mentioned senei should probably talk to the parents.

Also, he never should have been "manning" the phones, That is just crazy. I think if manning the phone was of the utmost importance to Sensei, he should have put your son in there to play secratary.
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#401056 - 07/02/08 10:03 AM Re: Small Rant... [Re: JasonM]
Zyranyth Offline
Member

Registered: 09/13/06
Posts: 188
Loc: Finland
An alternative I saw someone successfully use on pre-teenage kids at one of my previous dojos, was that he told them that they will not do anything before they shut up and listen. A minute later, everyone was giving him their full attention.
_________________________
"Only a warrior chooses pacifism; others are condemned to it. "

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#401057 - 07/02/08 10:46 AM Re: Small Rant... [Re: Zyranyth]
BigJim Offline
Newbie

Registered: 06/17/08
Posts: 15
Loc: Arizona
First I would say a 16 year old might not be ready for a class full of kids, he certainly should have had an adult instructor on the floor.

Second, authority is often taken or earned, not givien. This goes for the parents and the kids. Now you may differ on he method but it worked very well for us back in Illinois when I trained and was a junior instructor. The parents were told when they signed up the kids, this is no joke, this is not play time. As much as we would make it fun for the kids and encourage them etc, bad behavior was not tolerated period. The class was held in a military type environment and the kids knew there were consequences for their actions. Did some kids cry, yes. Did some parents pull their kids, yes. But overall the vast majority thanked us and most of the kids had alot of fun, learned to follow the rules.

FYI parents were not allowed to watch most classes, they don't sit in school with them, why should get to watch Karate class. Before they signed up they could watch a few classes of other kids, to see how it was done but once their kids were students, it was invitation only.

I guess my point is the Dojo is not a playground, my instructor would tell parents this is how it's done here, if you don't like it there are plenty of places down the street the kids can jump around all they want. Maybe I am wrong but in todays world of out of control kids, a school with a rep for disipline and no BS might appeal to a lot of parents.

Let me also mention he was a teacher himself, so he had a lot of experience in managing large groups of kids and how to walk the line of firm, fair and fun so kids were well behaved but not miserable.

My 2 cents.

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#401058 - 07/02/08 11:02 AM Re: Small Rant... [Re: BigJim]
marmaduke Offline
Member

Registered: 10/26/06
Posts: 177
Loc: Ohio
Thanks for the input. (Even the small comment from the Peanut Gallery). My son has been teaching classes for the past 6 months. With help and without. As mentioned, this class was unusually large. He normally does not have a problem. One thing I just thought of was that half these kids were from Fridays class. The kids and the parents don't know my son. I guess for new kids, you have to earn respect before you get any. My son does not teach Fridays classes.

Another post I remember reading mentioned to tire the kids out so they settle down. I'm thinking running laps around the mat. Jumping jacks or something easy the kids can do, right at the start for warm ups.

But then again, hopefully after the holiday, everything will settle down. (and as of April 30, he's 17. One more step towards age, wisdom and maturity)...and driving.
_________________________
It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

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#401059 - 07/02/08 11:29 AM Re: Small Rant... [Re: marmaduke]
BigJim Offline
Newbie

Registered: 06/17/08
Posts: 15
Loc: Arizona
Quote:

My son has been teaching classes for the past 6 months. With help and without. As mentioned, this class was unusually large. He normally does not have a problem.




I certainly was not commenting on your son's teaching ability, I hope you did not read it that way. My comment was about as a 16 year old, with a room full of parents and an oversized class getting out of control, he should have had some adult back up. It's very hard for a kid to take control with parents, probably 2 times his age being as unruly and the rug rats.

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