This last year I have been assigned to teach a Spanish class. Now this wouldn’t be a problem if I was fluent in Spanish. However, going to a Portuguese speaking mission isn’t necessarily the best qualifications for the job. For those who jaws are now on the floor, welcome to the world of rural teaching. Add in 3 new courses, each of which requires a solid hour a day to prep, add in “voluntary” extra curricular work, and other sundry positions, and time is pretty busy. Of course, I am sure it is similar to what most people now days seem to be doing. However, in this career, with no advancement possible, the extra effort one puts relies almost exclusively on intrinsic motivation. Hence today when I got a complaint from two parents I was pretty miffed.
Obviously in a school setting there are always things that aren’t very appropriate. After searching high and low for 30 min videos that had a Spanish audio track (in Canada everything is only in French), I had pretty much given up on finding anything interesting and costing under $300 – at least with the time I had to ferret out deals.
While on a recent trip to the states, I had bought a Bullwinkle DVD and some other Spanish cartoons. For one reason or another, these didn’t work as a classroom aid. A number of students suggested DVD’s that they had recently bought. With prime time shows being pretty much all one can buy on DVD, I thought I would give it a try. I took a look through the Seinfeld series, and found the most innocuous episode I could find, The Library. Aside from Kramer flirting with the Librarian, this show is pretty mild. I also figured things would get watered down for the kids as they watched it is Spanish. it seemed to fit in quite nicely with some lessons we had on figurative vs. literal translations.
Next week we watched a Friends episode. Now, I don’t like Friends very much, and was leery about showing one. However, we have a number of smokers in class, and I figured the episode on Rachael trying to smoke to fit in at work would be a good multi-use of class time. Again, this was not an episode with sexual innuendos or crass jokes. However, I got a couple of forthright complaints from parents that day, on the moral degeneracy I was teaching. Now I can see people suggested that this may not be appropriate for class, but supporting moral degeneracy? Come on. I won’t get into the nit picky details to try and defend myself. However, it does annoy me that some people take such a prideful stance based on reasoning that may be faulty. After all if I told my kids that watching the 10:00 news was evil, chances are if they saw it in school they would think it was the most offensive thing ever, regardless of the content.
Now I can understand how difficult it is to keep kids away from many aspects of society. I can also understand how frustrating it is to have that stance breached at every opportunity. But doesn’t there come a point where the level of segregation one seeks turns every exposure into a conflict?
I think this recent drudge headline sums up some of the consequences I see happening as a result of this type of correctness.