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  1. bunicchi's Avatar
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    #1

    Question Paternalistic? Officious?

    Hello

    I would like to know how to describe my feelings effectively in the following situation.

    I am a Japanese teacher of English at a public school in Tokyo. I am assigned to take care of a native speaking young assistant language teacher who is coming to Japan for the job. They haven't sent us the novice teacher's CV yet, but from our experiences so far, most probably, he/she has just finished college and has no experience of working in Japan, or teaching English. I want to give him/her sufficient advice so that I can minimize the trouble that he/she will have in our school/Japan. However, I do not want to annoy them by taking care of him/her too much or treating him/her like a child. I've found a phrase, "At the risk of sounding paternalistic, I think it's best to..." This phrase describes my feelings well but I think it might be too formal for my situation.

    I want to express my worries of being paternalistic or officious and my willingness to help the novice teacher in a friendly manner. What are some of the phrases I should use instead of "at the risk of sounding paternalistic"?
    Last edited by bunicchi; 06-Jun-2015 at 06:32.

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    #2

    Re: Paternalistic? Officious?

    Who do you want to express or describe your feelings to? I do not think it is diplomatic to use those words : novice, paternalistic and officious.
    I am not a teacher.

  2. bunicchi's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Paternalistic? Officious?

    I'm sorry if it was not clear. I want to express my worries as above to an assistant language teacher, who is much younger than me and is new to the field.

  3. bunicchi's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Paternalistic? Officious?

    If what I wrote was rude, I want to apologize. Does the word "novice" sound despising? I didn't think so. As for the words "paternalistic" and "officious," I said I did not want to sound like "paternalistic" or "officious."

    Anyway, this is off the topic. I would like to hear what people think about my first post.

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    #5

    Re: Paternalistic? Officious?

    I wouldn't use 'novice teacher'. Instead call them 'newly-qualified' or 'inexperienced'.

    You could say you are mentoring or inducting them. You could use 'patronising' rather than 'paternalistic'.

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    #6

    Re: Paternalistic? Officious?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    You could use 'patronising' rather than 'paternalistic'.
    I'd do the same- paternalistic sounds sexist. However, you could simply give your advice without any such rider- the person coming will be grateful for your suggestions, so there's no real need to be apologetic IMO. Could you give an example of something you think would need this qualifier?

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    #7

    Re: Paternalistic? Officious?

    Quote Originally Posted by bunicchi View Post
    Does the word "novice" sound despising?
    Instead of saying what they are, say what you are: their mentor.

  4. bunicchi's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Paternalistic? Officious?

    Thanks, Rover_KE, I was thinking "inexperienced" would be ruder than "novice." This kind of information I can't get from dictionaries. The Japanese translations for those words in dictionaries suggest the opposite.

  5. bunicchi's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Paternalistic? Officious?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    I'd do the same- paternalistic sounds sexist. However, you could simply give your advice without any such rider- the person coming will be grateful for your suggestions, so there's no real need to be apologetic IMO. Could you give an example of something you think would need this qualifier?
    Yes, I hadn't felt comfortable with the word "paternalistic," for that reason.

    It's difficult to think of a good example -- In most cases, the ALT (assistant language teacher) has not lived in Japan or taught English as a foreign language, so it's my job to guide him/her on everything. It is similar to be an advisor for a newly-qualified teacher except for that the teacher is Japanese. I have taught English for more than 20 years and I have worked as an advisor for several newly-qualified teachers.

    I have met a couple of new teachers who did not like my giving them elaborate advice. They seemed to think I was taking care of them too much. For example, when I offered my advice or suggestions, they said abruptly, “I know, I know. I’ll be OK.” Not only that, they seemed to keep distance from me. I thought they might be too proud to listen to my suggestions.

    However, last year I had the first opportunity to work as an advisor for an ALT, an American woman, and we got along very well. She often expressed her gratitude to me. I was transferred to another school this April, so we don’t see each other everyday, but we still exchange e-mails and hang out sometimes.

    Maybe I don’t have to worry about using that kind of riders/qualifiers for non-native speakers of Japanese who has not lived in Japan.
    Last edited by bunicchi; 07-Jun-2015 at 00:57.

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    #10

    Re: Paternalistic? Officious?

    Quote Originally Posted by bunicchi View Post

    I have met a couple of new teachers who did not like my giving them elaborate advice. They seemed to think I was taking care of them too much. For example, when I offered my advice or suggestions, they said abruptly, “I know, I know. I’ll be OK.” Not only that, they seemed to keep distance from me. I thought they might be too proud to listen to my suggestions.
    If that happens again, just let them get on with it and make their own mistakes. They might appreciate you more when you step in to pick up the pieces.

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