Thursday, January 13, 2005

Teachable Moment

I must devote some space to thanking Jason Giambi and numerous others in Major League Baseball for providing me with my health lesson on steroids. On Tuesday, the seventh graders read some basic factual information about what steroids are and how they affect one's body, and then I gave them a page of quotes from ballplayers about steroids in baseball. My classroom full of Yankee fans were familiar with the scandal surrounding Giambi's admission of using steroids. I had them write a one-page opinion piece with three choices:
  • how should MLB handle steroid use by players?
  • how should high schools handle steroid use by student athletes?
  • your friend confides that he or she might start using steroids; write a letter to him or her giving advice about steroids.


The kids, being my innocent, nerdy, justice-obsessed middle school babies, took a hard line on steroid use in professional sports and in high schools. They also came up with some compassionate ideas, like providing counselling for high school athletes caught using steroids. Then again, one of them recommended execution or punishment by the gods (I'm not making this up!) for MLB players who test positive for steroids... hmmm.

And one girl wrote a letter to a friend advising her to avoid steroids because of their health effects, like growing facial hair, deepening of the voice, etc. She made up a name for her friend - and just happened to use the first name of the seventh grade social studies teacher! The thought of this teacher using steroids is completely hilarious; we both got a good giggle out of the letter and the fact that the student chose her teacher's name (it's not a common name).

And now, the players' union has decided to tighten up its drug policy. Fantastic timing!

12 Comments:

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