Saturday, January 22, 2011

Let Justice Be Fun

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," a faerie-friendly site where we dote on deities! Here, we banish the word "myth" to the rubbish heap. Everything's real, baby. Everything's real.

This past September I felt it my teacherly duty to sign up as a club advisor. Except I'm always getting tapped to do school newspapers and lit journals and stuff like that. This year I wanted a little variety, so I signed on to co-coach our school's Mock Trial team.

Mock Trial is a state and national competition. Every year students get a "case." The students become the witnesses and the attorneys, and they prepare the "case" for "trial" against students from other schools. The "case" is then heard in a real courtroom and judged by a real trial judge. Each team has a volunteer attorney coach that helps the students with the finer points of jury trials.

This year's "case" was actually pretty interesting. It's a civil case of double negligence: Who's at fault, the distracted kid driving a big red Corvette, or the distracted pedestrian kid texting while crossing an intersection?

The students on my Mock Trial team not only prepared for the competition, they worked together like a team. For the last few days I've really only had to sit back and listen while they grilled each other, more or less reassuring them when they got nervous. Today they performed splendidly against teams from some of the most expensive prep schools in South Jersey.

I took my daughter The Spare along for the day, and she had a great time. She got to be a bailiff in the second round, so she even had a role to play. Now she likes the fact that she can connect faces to the names of kids I talk about all the time. And for the record, my students were very friendly to her -- not the sort of treatment that might have awaited them if they had come to her school instead.

So this was a win-win-win from my point of view. I got to spend the day with the Spare. I got to watch my students at their very best. And I actually went to the Superior Court building without having to face jury duty.

Candidly, while it's completely Druidic to be a school teacher, I've never felt like the role fit me very well. Today the shoe fit, and I even got to be proud of the team ... and of the bailiff, who had to keep time on each bit of testimony and each lawyer statement. Proud congratulations to the Vo-Tech, and its students from Camden, who more than held their own against the Future Masters of the Universe.

School vouchers? Don't use them. The best education can be had in your own public school. No matter where it sits on the map.

3 comments:

Hecate said...

Mock trial. Only thing more fun is a real one. Druids were both teachers and "law talking folks."

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Glad everyone had fun!

Davo said...

Mock turtle; mock torc ;D