Level Three. Similar is not the Same.

Level Three. Similar is not the Same.

By Michelle Lloyd.

Sammy had trouble with authority. This was in no doubt and not in question.

Although Sammy had an issue with it, he was a bit of an authority on the subject of authority. He had been through the trials and traumas of testing the boundaries of the same A subject with his parents and even given the same bit of authority a go himself. Neither situation had turned out exactly as he thought that it would do.

This time Sammy was sure that he could be the authority and teach everyone how it was done. At school Sammy took to the authoritative position of class senior. In each class, one pupil was chosen to represent the other students. The senior, had to be respectful of other opinions while remaining in a lead position to accept or reject collective class proposals and take any ideas to the teacher.

At first Sammy was great at his newfound role. He loved to establish a kind of hierarchy in the class and decide who should appropriately get to do what task in specific groups. It was fun and Sammy felt that he did a good job. It was not too long before the good times started to dissipate.

As class senior Sammy got to gather information about what improvements his fellow pupils thought would make their school even better. Sammy decided that putting a bit of extra work in would make all the difference.

After he had done his homework Sammy set about doing some graphics on the computer. It was with the help of his dad that he put together a computerised survey of questions that he could then put to the rest of his class. That way, he felt he could be the lead in finding out what his class would like as possible projects for the school to take on.

It looked excellent and having the printed off survey to take to school filled Sammy with an enhanced sense of leadership. He went into school, got into the class and things started off so well…

Having secured the approval of his teacher, at break Sammy approached his class mates and began asking his questions. The first few answers were good but they did not tally up with his, they were similar but not the same as his own ideas of which projects would be best. Sammy began feeling as if he could do a bit more, take more authority on and consequently half way through he decided that maybe he could take over answering the questions himself. After all he had come up with them and he did feel he could answer the questions better than anyone else.

Decided on this course of action Sammy wondered off and quietly in a corner filled out the rest of his own questionnaires. At the end of the day he went to the teacher with his results and handed them over.

Everything, Sammy felt had gone extremely well up to the point when one morning the teacher got up to make an announcement. She thanked everybody for their recent participation in Sammy’s questionnaire and then spoke about what the school would be doing about their suggestions.

It was after a few minutes that whispers started to circulate, then murmurs took over and before anybody knew it, the class was full of hushed but confused conversation. Nobody had felt that the proposed projects represented their views fairly and eyes began to turn in Sammy’s direction.

Sammy had a bit of a time of it. Class senior position withdrawn, the teacher had explained that he had not conducted himself in a proper manner and that he would have to earn everybody’s trust again before he could regain the role. It seemed that Sammy still had to learn that authority was not only about the choices that he made for himself but also those that he made on behalf of others. The hardest part of his punishment had been in not enabling any of the improvements that he had known the class wanted, no longer break times or extra say in the end of term school show. It made everybody sad and Sammy took the brunt of the blame. The class had to vote in a new senior and then suggest the ideas again, everything could be ensured was done fairly but it would take a lot longer to attain. It was a tough lesson to take but slowly Sammy began to acknowledge the value that authority, if used correctly, could have and how important it was in shaping what his class could achieve.