Stand up if . . .

My ten year old son is in trouble.

Last week his sports teacher, Mr Bryan said to his class “stand up if you’ve been a bad sport”. Alex returned home having stood up. He then confided to his mother that he hadn’t been a bad sport, but he thought he had better stand up to be sure. Alex was told that standing up when he hadn’t been a bad sport was silly.

In a quiet moment, Eva – his mother – mentioned to Mr Bryan that, though Alex had stood up, he had not been a bad sport. Mr Bryan said that he hadn’t noticed Alex standing up.

Alex has just told us that today Mr Bryan asked students in the class to stand up if they’d been rude. Alex wondered what he would do as he had not been rude. But he had been talking. So he began to stand up.

Mr Bryan said “Sit down Alex”.

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Mr Creighton
Mr Creighton
13 years ago

It sounds like Mr Bryan has been blessed with the full quota of teaching and kid skills that other (non PE) teachers are wont to joke about in a bleak sort of way.

Liam
Liam
13 years ago

Stand up if you’ve been a bad blog commenter.
[Liam sits down, shuts up, waits for someone else to stand up first]

Yobbo
Yobbo
13 years ago

No, *I’ve* been a bad sport!

jen
jen
13 years ago

– what a serious fellow – although it is hard to get the settings on the ‘what counts meter’ right, Good luck Alex.

TimT
13 years ago

Your kid is bound for a career as a sit down comedian!

FXH
FXH
13 years ago

The very term “sports teacher” or “PE Teacher” wants me to reach for the gun to right past wrongs.

Laura
13 years ago

If you like Nick you can tell Alex that when I was in Grade 5, a much worse girl than me egged me on to throw wet wads of toilet paper at the high ceiling of hte girls toilets (actually quite a bad thing to do, although it was fun, and it stuck to the plaster in a very exciting way). Then at next morning’s assembly in the quadrangle Sister Angela asked the girl who’d done it to come to her and own up or all the girls would be punished. So I stepped out of line and walked up to the front where she was standing at a microphone and said ‘I did it, Sister, I did it.’ She looked at me pityingly and actually said ‘I didn’t mean you had to own up now in front of the whole school.’

Tony The Teacher
13 years ago

Stand up if you barrack for Collingwood.

Joshua Gans
Joshua Gans(@joshua-gans)
13 years ago

Probably I’ll make a fool of myself by being too earnest about this, but here goes.

Alexander is a sensitive and cooperative young man. He tries to see what his teacher is trying to achieve, and play the game. He decided that Mr Bryan was making the point that good sportsmanship is a harder quality to achieve than one might think, and that we all have room to improve. The first step is being honest about one’s failure to achieve perfection in this sphere, and Alexander thought Mr Bryan was asking his students to take that step.

The snag is that neither Mr Bryan nor any of the students is as subtle as Alexander. (He meant, and they understood him to mean: have you recently behaved in a conspicuosuly unsportsmanlike manner?) I can testify that this state of affairs of prevail for the rest of life, but he will adjust to it.

Joshua Gans
Joshua Gans(@joshua-gans)
13 years ago

I don’t really follow. But if you want self revelation, no, I wanted to be a good sport, but found it impossible. You would too, had you been as consistently dogged by bad luck as I was — soccer shots just going over the crossbar, tennis shots just missing the line, cricket balls miraculously finding the edge of my bat, and on it goes.

Nicholas Gruen
13 years ago

Thank you for sharing that with us James. I like to say on behalf of all of us here at Troppo that we feel for you. Some people are scarred with bad luck. Many of them eventually end up in the comments threads at Troppo. If the case is bad enough they end up doing posts.

Helen
13 years ago

I was just simply bad at sport.

Vee
Vee
13 years ago

He’s simply a stand up kid that’ll grow into a stand up man. We could do with more upstanding members of the community.

Jezery
Jezery
13 years ago

Since others have started the ‘amusing anecdotes’, I remember in 1st or 2nd grade, the teacher had to leave the roon for a few minutes and told us all to quietly continue with our work and no talking. When she came back (to the sudden hush that fell as she arrived), she asked everyone who had been talking while she was away to stand up. She then congratulated the half-dozen who did so on their honesty, and made the rest of us line up for a whack with a ruler for lying!!

Maybe young Alex is just smarter than I was.

BigBob
BigBob
13 years ago

When I was in grade 5, I wandered past one of my classmates on the way to assembly and said soemthing inane like “Angus, you’re a martian.”

The principal was nearby and called me over. He sternly asked if I had said a word.

Quite patently, I had said a word – in fact a number of them! So, I felt I had to reply in the affirmative.

After which he grabbed me by the scruff of the neck, frogmarched me out in front of the assembled students and gave me several cuts of the cane.

I was in tears, not so much from the cane but from indignation, as I felt (quite rightly) that I had not done any wrong.

The next day, after I had complained to my teacher that I had been unjustly treated, my teacher returned to say that I had been heard swearing in the playground that morning, so I deserved my previous night punishment.

The rotten mongrel principal couldn’t even admit he had wronged me. I am glad your son seems to have a better person teaching me than I had.

FDB
FDB
13 years ago

What a weird teacher. How could someone try to teach a moral lesson and not understand what Alex was trying to do?

When I was in year 6, we had a brief craze at Dalkeith Primary involving breaking one’s eraser up into tiny bits and chucking them at each other. It would go on while the teacher was in the room, with the odd minor busting down, but we were very careful. It was not cool to be caught, but to nail someone so they caused a disturbance themselves. A strict culture of non-dobbing was adhered to.

When the teacher left the room though, all hell broke loose. Old feuds erupted, recently busted targets emptied their arsenal on whoever they though had hit them, it was chaos. So one time the teacher gets back just as a girl had been hit in the eye. I’d copped one like that before too, but she must have been a bit unlucky and got one of the “pen-eraser” rough bits, and wound up with a scratched and infected cornea. Once she’d been bundled off to the nurse, the teacher demanded the “culprit” own up. I had no idea who it was, and I doubt they did either, but after twenty-odd minutes of interrogation I just said that pretty much everyone had been doing it, and it might have been me. Then my mate Andrei said it could have been him too (actually I think it was).

Mr Woodhouse then turned that into an object lesson in group dynamics and the diffusion of responsibility (possibly without those words!), and why you shouldn’t just join in with the crowd without thinking. Nobody was punished.

Best. Teacher. Ever.

Yobbo
Yobbo
13 years ago

Best. Teacher. Ever.

I bet the rest of Dalkeith Primary was hell on earth tho Francis…

Caroline
13 years ago

Mr Bryan said that he hadnt noticed Alex standing up.

? Alex is short, right?

FDB
FDB
13 years ago

“I bet the rest of Dalkeith Primary was hell on earth tho Francis”

Who is this Francis?

The politics of envy consumes you Sam. I make no apologies for my modestly-funded government school education. We didn’t even have a turf pitch FFS!

Pavlov's Cat
13 years ago

FDB, I’m guessing that Francis may be ‘Francis Xavier Holden’ who frequently signs himself FXH — I always need to stop and check that the one of you isn’t the other, myself. If anyone starts signing himself FDR the confusion will no doubt extend further.

TimT
13 years ago

Actually, doesn’t Mark Bahnisch of LP use FDR as an avatar?

FDB
FDB
13 years ago

He does indeed TimT.

Seeing FDR in print always gets me. Still, one can’t choose one’s initials, can one?

FMB
FMB
13 years ago

Still, one cant choose ones initials, can one?

Who says?

Still, when you burst onto Ozblogistan in 2006 [?] I found your pseudonym rather distracting.

FDB
FDB
13 years ago

Perhaps the Thatcher avatar was implicated there too.

FMB
FMB
13 years ago

Yah. The red hair was eerily familiar.

FDB
FDB
13 years ago

Oh, then I take it I’m talking to Sideshow. Should I also take it those are your actual initials, or just a Bostoyevsky gag?

FMB
FMB
13 years ago

Oh, then I take it Im talking to Sideshow.

Nat