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What you must decide

What can be the outcome of the confession and the punish­ment inflicted on the pupil?

Teacher W. Aged 35

You are a math teacher and a tutor of the 8th form. The dis­appearance of the form register upsets you. You intended to

hold a tutor meeting with the pupils but they insisted upon dearing up the incident themselves and you let them. You dis­cuss it with your colleagues in the staff room informally, asking for their advice. You personally think that it was Nick, who re­ally is a nuisance and far from being the best pupil, who has taken the register, possibly to erase some bad marks (you've noticed some signs of this in his record book a few times). If he is found out you'll summon his father to school for a talk with the Head Teacher.

Teacher K. Aged 54

You are an experienced teacher and have been a tutor for many years. You've had similar experience before and you've dealt with it quite efficiently. You are surprised that teacher W. let the pupils deal with the situation themselves accusing her of lax authority. You believe that to decide on the possible punish­ment of the offender teacher W. should call a special meeting of the tutors with the Head Teacher and subject teachers. Sus­pension from school is, you think, an appropriate punishment serving as a deterrent for possible/potential offenders.

Teacher R. Aged 23

You are a trainee teacher. You think that teacher W. is per­fectly right in letting the children deal with the situation them­selves as you strongly believe in pupils' self-government. You object to teacher K.'s suggestion that the offender should be suspended from school as it may inflict a deep psychological wound and the poor child may never recover from the dreadful traumatic experience. You think that a telling off is sufficient punishment.

Teacher B. Aged 30

You are a literature teacher, you've been teaching these pupils for four years and know them well. You know Nick as a kind-hearted, well-behaved, well-read boy and you doubt his being the offender. You would rather suspect Mary who is not popular with her classmates and tries to attract their attention by any possible means. She is also at the bottom of your litera­ture class. You are more concerned with the reason for the of­fence than the actual punishment, believing the type of punish­ment would depend on the pupil involved.

Julia/Peter Aged 14

You are a class leader. You lead the discussion. Possible suspects you think are Nick and Mary. Nick is more likely since he is poor at maths and has had more than one conflict with teacher W., who is always finding fault with him and whose classes Nick finds boring. He is a real nuisance in her classes.

As class captain you've told him off more than once but it didn't work and you believe that if he is the offender he should be properly punished. To do so you need either evidence of his offence or Nick's confession.

Lucy/Eugene Aged 14

You suspect Mary who is new to your class and goes out of her way to make friends with the girls and become popular. You resent it. You don't exclude the possibility of Mary steal­ing the register just to attract everybody's attention.

Nina/Alex Aged 14

You are convinced that nobody in your class is capable of such an offence. So you are hurt by teacher W.'s suspicion and demand a thorough search of the staff room thinking the regis­ter is there and possibly overlooked. You refuse to discuss the possible suspects.

Helen Aged 14

You follow the discussion without any comment as you are faced with a dilemma: to confess or not, since it was you who took the register from the staff room to erase your friend Nick's poor marks. He is totally unaware of it, as of your "spe­cial" attitude to him. You've been hopelessly in love with him for two years. But you can't let him be a scapegoat so you con­fess and take the form register to the staff room yourself ready to face the consequences.

Dorothy Parker Aged 35

You are a visiting teacher and you happen to be in the teacher's staff room when the teachers discuss the incident. You explain that in English school there is no book similar to our "form register" (журнал). You may also mention the possi­ble sanctions a teacher may use to punish a child in an English school.

Donald/Daisy Aged 15

You are 16. You live with your mother, Dorothy Parker, in Moscow at the moment, and you go to one of Moscow schools. The pupils of your class let you be present and participate in all kinds of meetings and discussions they have. You are eager to learn more about their way of life. As that day the missing form register is the cause of an incident you explain that in your English school there is no register/book of the kind. The marks are entered in the subject teacher's book.


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