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January 16, 2013

The Value of Strictness

In teaching and instructing rigor and strictness is essential.

However, in recent years it has been thought that the person who is nice and gentle would be a good instructor. Being nice and gentle is a good thing for sure, however what if the purpose of it becomes to avoid being hated or disliked by others.

This tendency not only happens in schools but also in professional sports, so what is the point of having instructors and teachers then? By always saying pleasant and nice things only cannot be a good instruction.

There must be a strong relationship between the one who teaches and the one who learns.

Instructors need to be trusted not only because of skills and achievement, but also because of strong principles, dignity, and personality. When students really trust, they follow all the instructions.

Students can be trusted when they show a strong learning attitude and enthusiasm. Of course in the case of a professional, talent and ability is also needed. When instructors really trust, they truly want to grow their students.

Once there is a trust relationship developed, the instructor is able to communicate freely with the student even though it may be slightly blunt or strict.  With this trust, such instruction can be accepted by the student. If an instructor is not able to be frank and open with his/her students it may be because there is no trust relationship built, which means there is something missing between them.

Let’s think about what the rigorous/strictness in instructing really means. It does not mean that one needs to be strict at all times. In the English language “instructing” means “teaching” and also it means “correcting”. One should do “teaching” gently, and “correcting” strictly.

Of course in the case of a beginner who just started learning, it would not be appropriate to be strict, as they are in the process of trying to learn the basics. If at this stage they are being taught strictly or too rigorously, the learning process for most people could be hindered or even discouraged. According to principles in instructing beginners it would be good to teach them gently with patience.

On the other hand, if the student goes against the principles and basics, the instructor needs to be really strict until the student alters the bad habit. There should not be any compromise. This strictness positively leads the student to their goal.

Once an instructor is able to understand correctly the difference between “teaching” and “correcting”, then it is possible for him/her to be able to be appropriately strict when it is required.

The challenges Japan is facing in trying to build up the recovery, economy and education standards abound. It is important that everyone performs to the best of their ability and overcome all obstacles together. The role of instructors and educators is to help nurture and bring out these abilities.

I will do my best and make every effort with you.

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