child labour

November 26, 2010

I was, I fear, a rather poor disciplinarian today.  Is it because of the nature of a Friday afternoon?  Or because I was aware of the decidedly not-in-session nature of my U.S.-located counterparts on this “black Friday?’  Maybe I’m grasping a bit for excuses . . .

At any rate, what happened today is linked to yesterday’s outing, so perhaps I should first tell if that:

After months of awaiting the necessary paperwork and legal processes, yesterday we were able to take some of our students to one of the country’s largest copper mines.  It was a fascinating day of observing such awe-inspiring sights as the great open pits peppered with birds-eye views of giant, high-powered machinery.  And the smelting plant, producing glowing streams of molten metal.  As educators, we left the place well aware of what a privilege it was to get to share such an experience with our students.

Back to today . . .

This being near the end of term, I have asked the students to begin returning their library books.  Today the two boys in my extra help group were sent back to the library, by their classroom teacher, for a “penance” search, after returning a book without its card.  So I gave the two some work to do for me—simply, straightening tasks.  One of them diligently went about the work.  The other did not.  Instead, he lay sprawled on the floor with a book, periodically obeying my request that he get back to work, but only long enough to stand up, find another book of interest, and return to his prone position.  Finally I stood over him, hands on my hips, and sternly berated him [while inwardly pleased that he was apparently enjoying the books so much :-)].  He didn’t miss a beat, promptly bemoaning that, “Ah, but Miss, I’m tired—I worked hard in the mines yesterday!”

I had just enough restraint to excuse myself to the office, where I could safely laugh as I relayed the comment to coworkers there.



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