Friday, March 26, 2010

When Parents Put Sports Before Education

A student came to me this morning asking if he could turn his homework in late. I asked him why it wasn’t done, and he responded by giving me a scene-by-scene rundown of his evening.

After school he had practice for the school's modified lacrosse team. He went home, grabbed a quick bite to eat, and then was driven over to the ice rink to practice with the town’s hockey team. After that practice, we immediately went to another hockey practice, this time for a travel team he plays for.

This boy left his house for school at about 7am and, other than a hasty dinner, didn’t return home until about 10pm. No wonder my essay didn’t get done.

Sure, I could have reminded him that I gave two days in class to work on it. I could have also told him that school should come before sports. I could have done a lot of things, but instead I gave him a pass to come up to my room and work on the assignment during one of his free periods. Why? Because it isn’t wrong (or abnormal) for a middle school boy to desire nothing more than living and breathing sports. What’s wrong here is the fact that his parents are letting him do it.

I don’t know all the details, and I’m certainly not going to put myself in the lose-lose situation of trying to explain to someone how to raise their kids, but this boy’s schedule just screams poor decision-making.

My students are reading Todd Strasser’s The Wave, and there’s a cautionary line in the book that we are discussing today in class. Interestingly enough, it fits this scenario nicely.

"This experiment involves young, impressionable kids. Sometimes we forget that they are young and haven’t developed the judgment we hope they’ll have someday.”

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1 Responses:

Linda Aragoni said...

It is not the kid who has bad judgment, but his parents. And it's not just one set of parents. I've probably read 50 news stories in the last two weeks about schools cutting back on teachers. I've only seen one school that cut any sports.