Today in class I had to teach two groups of second grade students, 2 nensei (二年生). I split the two classes so that I spend 25 minutes in each class. I do this so that I can visit their classes more often rather than visiting classes once a week or once every two weeks.
The Japanese English teacher and I went to the class and began our normal routine. We were reviewing the textbook because the teacher was so far ahead with the material. So we started from page one, and I had students read aloud the textbooks whilst their classmates followed along.
Normally I pick a student and then rotate in a random order so that I can easily catch students who are not paying attention. I just randomly call out students names from our roll chart on the podium in the front of the class. I find this keeps students focused as they never know when they are going to be called to read.
Well today I busted one boy, let's call him Slam Dunk (スラムダンク,) , after a popular comic マンガ (manga). Slam Dunk is normally a very good student. He makes excellent marks on tests and does fairly well at paying attention and participating. This morning however he was distracted and didn't know where we were in the textbook when I called out his name. It soom became apparent why he wasn't able to follow. I saw that he had placed a comic マンガ(manga) atop his textbook. Normally I would just ask them to put away their private books or comics and continue on with the lesson.
Slam Dunk however disturbed the flow of the class so I called him on his mistake. I didn't scold him per se, I simply told him that reading comics in class is against the rules and I asked him to bring his comic to the front so that I could confiscate it. Doing this brought back memories of my own childhood when I had comics, novels, and even a Sony Walkman taken because I was using them in class. So I understood where he was coming from.
Later after class I asked Slam Dunk to come out to the hallway and I reiterated my point for taking his comic マンガ (manga). He seemed to understand but he told me that he wasn't reading the comic. He had only had it out on his desk, sitting atop his textbook. I tended to believe that he wasn't reading it but I told him that if he wants to have a comic he should only read it between classes and at lunch.
I am all for reading, even comics. It's always good when children read no matter how simple or irrelevant the material contained within. However, disturbing a class by reading is not and should not be tolerated. I hope I didn't make Slam Dunk hate me for getting on him. I am without a doubt sure that he is pissed off at me right now. I guess time will tell if he will get over it.