Bad Teacher Takes a Day Off to Play Pachinko

April 3, 2008

The article found here: Vice Principal Skips School to Play Pachinko in Hyogo gives us a good chance to talk about how the schools work in Japan (for those of you who are more unfamiliar).

There is no “substitute teacher” system that most people in the U.S. are familiar with. If a teacher takes a day off on which there are classes. Those classes are rescheduled for another day or traded off with another teacher.

For example: If teacher A wants to take Monday off but has 3 classes that day. He will find people with whom he can trade class times within the week to make them up. So 3 other teachers will trade with him and have one extra class each on that day in order to cover Teacher A’s classes. Teacher A, in turn, will make up those classes on days he’s back.

Now an explanation of the “annual leave” described in the article. There are two types of vacation day a teacher can take. One is a day that can be taken at any time there is nothing for which the teacher’s attendance is mandatory. A teacher doesn’t have to give a reason for this absence. The other type of absence may be used on any day of the year, however, an acceptable reason is required.

My guess is that this vice principal used an excuse like a doctor’s appointment, or the always-ok-to-use “personal matters” as his reason for the excuse. The school was obviously not happy when they found out that the personal matter turned out to be a nice day of gambling.

Add to that the fact that this teacher was actually the vice-principal, effectively the head teacher of the school, you can imagine how much trouble he’ll have managing other teachers from now on.