A rant about a teacher

My partner is majoring in Japanese. My partner’s Japanese teacher is the head of the department and also one of only two people (one of whom is away and will be for most of our time in college) who can be my partner’s academic advisor. She has a lot of power over my partner. This is not a good thing.

The first thing about her that bothered me is that she’s commented on how she doesn’t want to produce “handicapped Japanese speakers”. By this she means she wants everyone in class to be as fluent as possible. But it doesn’t erase the ablism of it. The way she teaches class, a deaf person would almost certainly not be able to learn, and my partner has a hard time due to undiagnosed hearing problems (they probably need a hearing aid, but yay being poor with sucky health insurance). The undiagnosed making it impossible to get the school to tell her to lay off, although I doubt she would anyways.

This teacher expects you to go to class sick. Not just go to class, but go to class completely prepared and able to function as well as you can while not sick. If you can’t do this, she gets furious with you. She gets furious with you if you don’t go to class. Generally not going to class is the better option, but she still expects students to go to class no matter how sick they are and do just as well as they would on a good day.

She also communicates very badly. I don’t mean this to be a jab at her English. I mean that she’ll say “You can use your books in class” then get angry when people use their books in class. I think that what she wants to happen is that she says “You can use your books in class” and then everyone is so awesome that they don’t need to even though they have the option. Similarly, she says “you shouldn’t be afraid to make mistakes in class”. However, if you make a mistake she felt that you shouldn’t have made, she won’t call on you for the rest of the class, meaning that you lose valuable practice. Again, I think what she wants to happen is for her to say that and then everyone is so awesome that they don’t make mistakes. This sets up an incredibly frustrating situation for everyone.

My partner is a UK citizen and a permanent resident in the US. Most of the people in the class are US citizens. The teacher sometimes sends out emails with scholarship opportunities to study Japanese, at least one of which said it was only open to US citizens. My partner pointed this out and the teacher responded with an email giving a link that had to be followed through several pages just to be told “Countries who have an agreement with Japan” (which may or may not include the UK). This link was accompanied with scolding that in the future, my partner should do their own research. She then publicly said to the class not to email her about unnecessary things, which is something she does to publicly shame students.  Let me point out once again that US citizens are not expected to do their own research.

And right now my partner is passed out exhausted next to me and can’t rest as long as they need to and has another unneeded stressor added. Namely, the teacher decided that because they have a midterm tomorrow and can’t study for a test for tomorrow, my partner should just do it today. This was decided this morning, the test’ll be at 2. So rather than having the extra time to study for the midterm at a relaxed pace, my partner will instead be cramming for a test.

This is all without going into the utter fail of the sections on gender or that she forces my partner to use male first-person pronouns (when there are fine neutral options) and say they have a “wife”.

I am not happy with her at all, and there are plenty of other things I’d love to tell her off for. But the problem is that she is the only Japanese teacher in the school and essentially the only person who can be my partner’s advisor. My partner is stuck with this person for 2 of the next 3 years (plans to go to Japan for Junior year. We get to arm wrestle with the school to get them to let me go to a place in Kyoto for a semester as well because she doesn’t want people to go to Japan unless they’re doing it her way).  I do not think that she is in any way above making my partner’s life hell if I let her know that she’s already discriminating against my partner on the basis of their citizenship. Which I’m pretty sure is against the school rules to do, but I don’t know who to go to about this because, again, she’s the head of the department and I can’t risk getting someone involved only for her to take it out on my partner.

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One response to “A rant about a teacher

  1. Pingback: I give up. | Binary Subverter

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