World Cup plays in classrooms

Students unite over game


Sarah Kluckhohn

World Cup plays in Polk’s classroom. Students given choice to work or watch.

Sarah Kluckhohn

The FIFA World Cup, a soccer showdown consisting of 32 countries and taking place once every four years, is a big event every time it happens. This year, American interest in the tournament has skyrocketed, with a record breaking 19.65 million American viewers tuning in to watch USA’s match with England, according to FIFA’s website. 

At Park, interest has increased as well. Students have chromebooks out at every game to watch and a growing number of teachers are broadcasting matches on projectors. Some teachers will play the matches during work time, giving students the choice to watch or work. 

Math teacher Chad Austad participates in playing World Cup matches during class work time.  

“I wouldn’t skip a lesson plan because of the World Cup, but during work time I think it’s nice to have it available for students who are interested,” Austad said.

Austad said playing the matches can be a good opportunity for certain students to show pride and root for countries they have connections to. 

“I’ve had students ask to watch certain games because of the countries —  I had a student say ‘I’m Argentinian, can we watch Argentina’s game?’” Austad said. “It’s pretty cool to be able to watch the soccer game that’s important specifically to them.” 

Sophomore Arun Ferran-Sapatnekar also said he supports playing the games in class, as the tournament doesn’t happen very often and it has the power to unite students.

“It only happens once every four years, so it’s not something to miss,” Ferran-Sapatnekar said. “It brings people together — people that wouldn’t usually talk to each other, talk because of (the World Cup).”

Freshman Olive Anderson said the World Cup playing in class doesn’t disrupt learning and students are capable of choosing whether to complete work or to focus on games. 

“I don’t think it’s that much of a distraction, unless people are getting really into it and yelling it’s pretty easy to ignore if you just want to focus on work,” Anderson said. “It’s just something for people to have fun with if they want.”