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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 1998 12:58 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 875
A sensei plays an interesting role in the lives of his/her students... from father figure to drill instructor - it varies from school to school - some espousing a kind of hero worship to others being a type of "buddy" - regardless, the position of authority figure is one that parents often appreciate and will use when disciplining their children outside the dojo: "Now what would your sensei say about that?" etc. In my travels, I've seen karate instructors get so involved in their young students lives that they review report cards, rewarding and with-holding priveledges like a position on a demonstration team depending upon grades, and making a concerted effort to ingrain in their young pupils' minds that their behaviour is a reflection on their school. To some extent this has benefits, but where does it go too far? I've even had some mothers tell me that the sensei of their daughter's prior dojo wanted to approve who they dated! Others express little to no interest in their student's personal lives, just concerning themselves with whether the tuition check is on time...

Well, it takes all kinds, but involvement in a student's personal life (I'm speaking primarily about children here) can get pretty tricky. How far should a sensei go in his/her concern with the development of the character of young karateka?

Here gender plays an interesting role as well - in co-teaching children's classes with my sensei, we developed an interesting "good-cop/bad-cop" type of teaching - sometimes he would be tough and hard and demanding - and I could be the "sensei-mommy" with a hug after class - though often it was the other way around! One way or another though - those kids do develop quite an affection for their teachers - trying so hard to please - it is a lot of responsiblity which should be recognized and used carefully!

One more thought on kids and karate - sometimes I run into the situation where a parent is witholding karate attendance as a punishment for some transgression or another. I usually tell the parents that the discipline of karate class can be a way to work through the offending behaviour; encouraging them to bring them anyway - not as a reward but as an unwavering routine - anyone have creative ways of dealing with this?

Peace,
Lori


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 1998 7:30 am 
Some schools use the fact that their students have higher grades to draw in more customers. I hate linking karate to grades on a report card. Some kids just aren't successful at school but can be at karate, so do we now make them feel bad for a poor report card. Doesn't that blow the self esteem building you just accomplished? And what about those kids who are "C" students. They have to deal will others getting better grades at school, but now at karate too? No, not for me.

As for approving who they date -- get them the hell out of that cult!

Rick


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 1998 12:27 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 1897
Location: N. Andover, Ma. USA
Lori Chan,

I use a reward system in my school for honor roll kids to acknowledge the commitment to the educational process in general. I also have other award systems in place for improvement in this area as well as several in other ares such as community service (walks for certain organizations, ect.). My main goal in teaching Kids and Teens is to show that good character and morals are accepted somewhere and the demeaning of some institutions is not always the thing to do.

One such institution under attack is the lack of respect for educators, if we can bring a little sense of respect back to this area, we have won. As always it can be the"power of one" that may effect great change.

Evan Pantazi


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