Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Working through a Question

The other day I helped teach little kids cross country skiing.  I'm the third adult, a helper, with a group of about 11 kids, all about 5-6 years old or so, I guess.   (There are four little kid groups, and I don't know how many older kids speeding around in groups learning higher level skills.)

Mostly, the kids have fun.

There's this one little girl, though, who just couldn't stop saying how cold she was.  And I believed her.

Now, the first thing we do is try to get the kids moving, because that gets them warm.  And we figure that sometimes a kid starts out whiny, and then forgets about being whiny because they're having fun skiing.

But this little girl just kept saying how cold she was.

I asked the other teachers if I couldn't take her back to the warming hut, because I thought she was just being miserable, and that being miserable would make her hate skiing.  She was so upset she was holding up the group, not learning, and so on. 

One of us (me) would have had to stay with her at the warming hut, of course, but that still would leave two adults with ten kids, and that seems pretty reasonable, doesn't it?

Anyway, the teacher and the other helper overruled me.

And I really think I should have just taken her back anyway, and apologized later to the main teacher.  I'm ashamed that I didn't, in fact, because I could have helped her be a lot less miserable, and being miserably cold is horrible.  Why didn't I stand up for her better?


  1. My hypothesis goes back to the studies where when we accept the authority of someone else, we are reluctant to buck that authority even when we know it is wrong. It's quite likely that the child was a) whiny or b) under-dressed and had a miserable time. But where-ever she is now, believe that she is warmer and does not hate you for not taking her to the warming hut.

  2. I agree with Belle. It's tough to gauge with kids if they're truly in distress or simply seeking attention. Do what you feel is right next time.