I came to Isesaki, Japan right after I graduated university, and while I certainly don’t regret that, I do remember how nervous I felt getting up to teach in front of my first class. Everything was different; language, not being the student in the classes, renting an apartment for the very first time, and more. I never really thought about my schools, my students, and some of the rules that are in place.
One of the rules in my school is that a student can’t dye their hair. If they decide to get it done, either a full dye or small highlights, the teacher in charge will tell them them must dye it back to black. One of my teachers, Iwasaki-sensei, told me that these were the cans of black hair spray that are given to the misbehaviors so that they can fix their mistake.
At this point, having taught at both of my schools for about 4 years, I don’t get weirded out by some the rules that sound strange to me; no piercings, no dyed hair, no make-up, no hair scrunchies unless colored black or brown, boys can’t have hair longer than so many inches, etc.
On the other hand, it’s interesting to mentally compare my high school classmates with Mohawks, pink hair, tons of make-up and piercings with my students today.
But when I first heard some of these rules, and saw them in action…well, that gave me a new meaning of the phrase school daze.
And no, not all schools have rules like this, I’m only talking about one of mine.