Saturday, September 11, 2010
Teaching Stories three
One of my friends related the story of when he was teaching in a small interior town, and coaching basketball. His team was playing in the semi finals for the season on a cold wintry, early Saturday morning game. If his team won the game, they would be in the regional playoffs for the BC championships. So on the Friday night after the game, he held a meeting and talked about responsibility and making sure that everyone should get enough sleep and show up full of energy in the morning. Everyone on the team was pumped and they were all there in the morning except for his star defense man. The young man lived about 30 miles outside of town and had no phone. The first half was a very tight game, and my friends team was down by a couple of baskets at the end of the first half. The star defensive player showed up just before the half. At the break my friend who was very upset, took the player aside and gave him holly hell for letting the team down and not showing up in time. My friend then told the player to get dressed and the young man played the second half. My friends team one the game by a very close margin.
After the game, the defense man came and apologized to my friend who by then had calmed down. So my friend asked the boy what had happened. The young man replied. Everyone at home had gotten drunk on Friday night and there was no one available to drive him into the game, so rather than let the team down, the young player had run into town in the cold wearing only a light jacket, which my friend had not noticed when the boy had first showed up.
My friend said, there was no need to teach this young man responsibility, as he had it in spades, but what he learned as a teacher was to ask questions and listen to explanations before passing judgment. A good lesson for a new teacher to learn early in his career.