Due to the wonders of Facebook, I recently came across this story of a priest who meant to show a video about communion to a group of kids and parents. However, his computer was set to autoplay and what is described as a hardcore gay porn video began to play. According to the article, he unplugged his USB stick and walked out without saying a word. Apparently, the diocese is investigating. Do ya think?
Reading this led me to recall two incidents in my teaching career, neither of which I was directly involved in. Thank goodness.
Rob was supply teaching for me one day, and I had left a relevant video for him to show to one of my classes. However, when he turned it on, one of the jokers in the group had pulled a fast one and substituted a porn video. When Rob told me about it the next day, I began to giggle, but I soon stopped because Rob was incensed, declaring that such things were against everything that he stood for. Well me too, but I also saw the humor ... and still do as a matter of fact.
He had called in the vice principal at the time of the incident, and she was also on the warpath. However, when that class filed into my room later that day, I opined that it was a funny idea to switch videos but the choice a subject matter was not the best and a cartoon would have done the trick.
What else was there to do? The deed was done; no one would have given up the perpetrator; and, ranting and raving would have made me look pathetic. Besides, it was what some might call a teachable moment, and I think my calm reflection may have led the mischievous perpetrators to be more appropriate in future when pulling pranks. Well, that's my theory anyway, and I'm sticking to it.
The vice principal had becalmed herself by then and was happy enough with my reaction. I also heard from a parent at a later parent's night that she thought I had handled it well. I never did get back to Rob, though. Sometimes, it's best to let sleeping dogs lie.
About twenty years prior to that when society was somewhat less uptight, the teacher across the hall from me had a similar experience. Of course, that was before the days of video, but in his case, someone had taped a centerfold to a map. When Tom pulled the map down during the course of a lesson, he didn't miss a beat and just started talking about physical features such as mountains etc.
Tom had his good points, but he could be a somewhat crude guy. As I have related, Rob was rather pure of heart. In fact, at this point in his life he was the youth director at a local church who supplemented his income by supply teaching.
I am only aware of these two such incidents in my three decades of teaching, and they occurred about twenty years apart. Times had changed in those twenty years, but the two characters and their reactions were also completely opposite.
Although I think Tom's reaction of going with the flow was probably the better one, depending of course on how far he pushed the physical geography lesson, I really did like and respect Rob much more.
The thing is, Rob was Tom's son.
Can you beat that?!