Friday, June 20, 2014

World Cup Bargaining

10th grade world history. They were to watch a video on 9/11. (Note: They were about 3-years-old in 2001. Feel old? I sure do!)

They wanted to watch the World Cup matches instead.

Apparently, other teachers had the games on in their classrooms. (Well, it's the end of the year. Some teachers are pretty much done.)

Period 4 tried to convince me to turn on the game instead of showing the video. They did the usual wheedling. They didn't really need to see the video on 9/11 (even though they have no memories of that day). When I reminded them that their teacher wouldn't be pleased, they told me that I didn't have to tell her.

(Even though they wouldn't have the notes that she was requiring of them. And I wouldn't have a time that we left off to give her as she said she'd finish the video with them the following week. Like she wouldn't notice.)

The class went according to lesson plan. The video was pretty grim. (But well done. By National Geographic. Actually, I just found the first half hour of it on YouTube, if you're interested.) But once they knew I wasn't going to back down, they fell into line easily.

I considered putting the bargaining in the note. Normally, I'd mention something like this. For color if nothing else. It is kind of funny.

But I kind of knew how their teacher would react. And considering that they were well-behaved the rest of the period, I didn't feel it necessary to get them into that kind of trouble.

It was a few years ago, now. I was subbing for this same teacher. One girl had some teenage issue. (She wasn't going to tell me what it was, but she was in tears.) Her friend wanted to help. The two sat outside that period.

It's rare, but these things sometimes happen. I let the teacher know that they were both out of class (so she wouldn't penalize them for not having a paper in the pile of collected work). And I thought nothing more of it.

Some time later, I encountered the consoler in a different class. She told me she had been punished for the incident. Because her teacher believed her and her friend to have been lying to me.

I felt awful. If I had known it would get her into trouble... I told her that. She said she didn't blame me. This teacher is strict. (An excellent teacher. Well-behaved classes. Well thought out lesson plans.)

Yeah, I didn't see the point in getting that class into hot water. So, I left that detail out.

I guess I did actually not tell their teacher something.

15 comments:

  1. I think you did the right thing! You knew how the teacher would react because you'd already had an experience with that teacher. While the teacher is away, do they really need to know EVERYTHING?

    On a side note, I can't believe these kids are still in school! Yikes! When is summer vacation??

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    1. Yesterday was our last day. But I write these a week in advance, so the blog is about a week behind.

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  2. Teenagers and their constant issues. Exhausting, every time I see my niece (a teen), every moment seems to be emotionally charged. I'm sure they have their reasons, all though from an adult view point, they seem trivial, but yes, I do remember those years. I, too, think you did the right thing. Summer is just about here for you. Yay!

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  3. It's too bad that the consoler was later punished, but you did the right thing.

    My school was devoted to troubled teens, and I constantly had to stop classes to work through whatever issues students happened to be processing at whatever time. Just came with the territory. I know those students were grateful for your understanding.

    I hope summer vacation is on your horizon soon. The kids around here just finished up Wednesday, and they only went so late because it had been such a rough winter.

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  4. I'm sure that happens all the time. Some teachers are just way too strict...I understand that, but you also have to give kids the benefit of the doubt sometimes. Not all of them are lying!

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    1. Wow, my reply just...poof...vanished.

      I understand why the teacher was dubious. Some students do lie to the sub. Just this time... I felt so bad.

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  5. Good for you. Leaving notes is a risky way of sharing information. You can't answer questions, you can't communicate nuance. If she decides 4 words in that she is upset about their bargaining - you have no way of knowing it and no way of defending them. I think you did the absolute right thing. I am so proud of them for behaving after they lost their battle for FIFA.

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    1. Yeah, I was glad they didn't stage a protest or something. But then again, they were sophomores, so they are a little more mature.

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  6. I was in tenth grade when 9/11 happened...I do feel old.

    It's nice of you not to get them in trouble with a stickler of a teacher. Unless your judgment is really bad (I don't think it is :), she should have trusted that you knew what you were doing.

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  7. Now I feel old(er) when realizing how young those students were in 2001. You did the best thing, as you knew, to follow the lesson plan. Sounds kind like a grime thing for the last few weeks of school though.

    betty

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  8. I don't think they would be normal kids if they didn't try to bargain. Last days of school, other classes watching the World Cup and even though they were only 3, they have been hearing the horror of it their whole lives. But you did the right thing both by making them (you didn't really have a choice there) and by choosing not to mention it to the teacher.

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  9. I think you have a keen awareness when kids are ling and when they are not. I think you did the right thing and feel bad that the counsellor got into trouble. Your gut instinct does not let you down and you have experience behind yourself too

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  10. I'm surprised they would want to watch the World Cup! I didn't think soccer was very popular over there. It's hard to know with teenagers if they're playing you for a fool sometimes. That teacher obviously takes no prisoners!

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    1. It isn't. Unless you live in an area with a lot of Latinos. Then it's a whole lot more popular.

      Although, it's a world tournament, so that gets people excited. I was out to dinner the other night, and you should have heard the crowd watching the match.

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