Day 170 (of 184) making some events (T&F) happen
“We had a track & field event cancelled once because of job action – we can’t have that happen again”. Those were the words that introduced me to the “Track & Field mindset/culture” when I joined my current school district last year. Essentially when it was ‘missed’ it made everyone in the extended learning community feel its absence. It also took quite a while to restore involvement and get T&F to ‘what it was’.
And then there is the (wrongly) perceived hypocrisy for someone such as myself who has de-emphasized ‘award assemblies’ ‘trophies’ and other quasi-competitions in our school.
But allow me to clarify, because as a high school football coach I can get VERY supportive of competition – when it is student initiated.
It irks me to see “honour roles” trophies for “top academic/athlete’ and similar ‘acknowledgements’ when there is no easily pre-loaded criteria. When students know what their objective is (and we do provide previous years average speeds & heights/lengths/distances to be ‘in contention for a ribbon’). But they know that ‘prior success is no indication of future medals’ because others are always trying to ‘do better’. It’s good for athletes who only see themselves in the context of their own schools to see what others in the district (and province, country, etc) are doing.
I love it when students challenge themselves. I love it even more when the entire learning community steps up to make events such as today’s T&F event take place. A lot of ‘odd hours’ by the PVP team. Teacher coaches coming out but being ‘covered’ during their lunch break (in BC ‘lock out’ time right now) by exempt staff who happily helped out wherever it was needed – always cool to see the superintendent encouraging kids at the elusive high jump!! Even better to see how many parents brought their kids to the event and brought other kids as well – even when the school coach was unable to make it! And best of all: clear expectations of what would be needed to ‘win’ enabled all students to work on and celebrate personal growth & new ‘bests’ while congratulating the others who got the fancier ribbons!
I acknowledge that we are unable to do this ‘whole community’ response for all events during job action – as some events that are important to smaller learning communities – such as our salmon release – have to ‘missed’ this year because of so much going on within our school communities, but we are trying our best.
Now to see what we are able to support next in our learning community and if nothing else, knowing what I need to do next year when I take over the T&F portfolio – like making sure the generator is ordered for the sound board before the event begins…..learning….it always happens!