Pay attention to the subplot


Klinsmann with his former assistant and friend, Low.

On the surface, USA’s pass to World Cup knockout stage leaves people scratching their heads. We lost, but we won?

On the surface, the Germans dominated, as expected. And the United States did a decent job defending and mounted a few attacks. They managed the result, which with low-scoring loss combined with a favorable Portugal-Ghana scoreline, helped them to the next round.

But if you dig deeper, there are fascinating subplots.

Take the U.S. Coach Jurgen Klinsmann. He’s German, marshaling forces against his native country. Would he throw the game for Sacred Mother Country? He’s basked in the sun of Southern California since 1990, but does German blood course through his veins?

Or even more thought-provoking is the question of rivalry. The current German coach, Joachim Low, was his former assistant. Actually, the previous friendship and collaboration made the current contest more intense. Low has criticized his former boss’s tactical ability. Klinsmann declared before the faceoff: “We want to go for gold!”

The subplot if the major story. What happens on the surface is just a product of what happens below the surface.

When your students enter your class, it’s the hell at home that’s dooming them. If you can give your student the tools to calm the inner storm, you can help him pass your class.

Pay attention to subtle signals of inner turmoil. Who is being bullied in your class? Who is socially outcast? Who is so insecure that she flaunts and I-don’t-care attitude?

Dig deep because today’s teaching assumes a chaotic and distracted mind. There’s no more Leave-it-to-Beaver households in America, and as a result the kids are venting their frustrations at school.

In the end, the U.S. lost to superior fire power, not coaching prowess. The players made the difference. But they lived to see another day in World Cup play.

In the end, the student whose heart you touch will be transformed in his/her educational success.