Lessons From Assassination Classroom For a Teacher
If you are a fan of anime, you would have come across something called assassination classroom. While many animes can have some really unique storyline, assassination classroom tells a classroom that was designed to assassinate their teacher. Oh, and their teacher also happens to be a rather overpowered alien.
The story goes that a very powerful being has threatened to destroy the earth. However, this alien decides to become a teacher at a school in Japan. The students of that classroom were then tasked with assassinating their teacher. If they are able to do so, they will be able to obtain 100 million dollars for that accomplishment.
The story follows how this alien who managed to blow up 70% of the moon actually cares for his students despite them trying to kill him. The anime is really entertaining and I highly recommend it. However, there are a few lessons that educators can learn from this anime, despite how absurd it is.
Some students want to ‘kill’ you
The anime shows a class full of students/assassins who are out to kill the teacher. The reasons range from saving the world to earning that 100 million dollars. However, if you have taught a class of students who are labeled as ‘bad’ or ‘difficult’, you will find that some students are out to assassinate you as well.
Of course, we are not talking about the students assassinating the teacher literally, but in a figurative sense. I remember having to take over a class where some of the students had an ongoing tradition to see which one of them could get rid of the teacher. Their tactics range from challenging me in class with a broken glass bottle to removing a leg from my chair. It was not a temporary class for me but I could see how their efforts would really kill the motivation of any new teacher.
I find that with such students, after sitting down with some of them is the constant labeling. Many of them have been labeled by their teachers, parents, and peers as being stupid or bad. It demotivates them and causes them to vent. Some call it acting out but many feel like they have nothing to live for but to engage in destructive acts.
How the teacher helped
If you were to watch through the first few episodes, it becomes apparent that despite the alien’s ability to do some insane feats, like traveling at Mach 20, he or it still cares deeply for the students. There are a few episodes where the teacher would impart advice and words of wisdom to help the students learn.
I find that in teaching, the term ‘kill them with kindness’ comes into play a lot. I don’t deny that there are times where I would be exasperated or at my wit’s end when it comes to handling the class. However, I am reminded by a fellow colleague who pointed out that our every action in class leads to a chain of reaction.
For example, if we were to lose our composure in the class, chances are that it will compound an already difficult situation. Yelling at students when they don’t complete their assignment is counterproductive. As such, it is best to always find the root of the problem before taking any action.
I remember a time when I had one of the meanest kids in my class. Most teachers thought that he was just plain evil. However, upon further investigating, it turns out that he comes from a broken family and his parents left him at a very young age. All he had was a grandmother who abused him and nothing to look forward to at school. After speaking to him and guiding him, he was more willing to participate in class. At times, all these students need is some guidance.
One of the things that I enjoy about assassination classroom is how situations are not what they seem. Sure, the teacher is a very strong alien that could destroy the world. Yes, the students are out to kill it. However, I like how they change over time to respect it. I guess in many ways, that’s how teaching is like. You start a class thinking that the students are difficult but give it some time and over time. Through a lot of patience and grace, I am sure the experience would be very rewarding.