Sunday, October 9, 2011

Get informed

Sometimes, I get the feeling I'm the only teacher who enjoys chaperoning middle school dances. That is, until I take a look at all my super colleagues who also enjoy chaperoning middle school dances.

At our dances, students wear wristbands which get cut off if they do anything inappropriate - dirty dancing mostly, but it also includes gum, shoving, pushing, and PDA. I love cutting wrist bands. It's a power trip.

This past friday was our first dance of the school year. I cut of bunches and bunches, but there was less whining and running away in the process. And after I cut off the first few, the students loosened up and focused less on trying to get away with bumping&grinding, and focused more on just being kids and enjoying the first dance of the year.

I did escort a young lady - one of my students from last year actually - out of the dance for PDA with a boy (a current student). She denied ever knowing it was inappropriate, that she was never told, that she was absent during the day the school broadcasted dance procedures during advisory period. The excuses never ended about how "I didn't know!"

I told her that her problem was she didn't do her research. She didn't get thoroughly informed before she did something, and that can be fatal in the real world. I also told her I was glad she got to experience this at a middle school dance, which doesn't at all matter in the long run of things. Because after she was done denying any knowledge that PDA was unacceptable at school, she started on how dances weren't important, and that she never wanted to go to a dance again.

The father came to pick her up and we had a little chat. They are good people, and they try their best, but in my opinion, they are too strict with procedures and not strict enough with values. That made absolutely no sense huh? It's hard to describe. It's like those people that always say no, for the sake of having said no, rather than for anything else. It's like the Zero Tolerance policy and the expulsion of a student for bringing a butter knife to school so that they can eat hummus on crackers for lunch.

Anyway, that little incidence gave me some experience on what to say and do now when students give that "I didn't know!" excuse. GET INFORMED. There is no excuse for voluntary ignorance.

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