Day 81 (of 188) thinking about role models
Tonight I took my daughter and two other girls on her Jr Girls Basketball team to see “some big dogs”; probably the top Senior Girls Basketball team in our province. They have played together for a few years now, and the recent ‘additions’ have fitted perfectly: their passes are straight, crisp and fast; their shots are amazingly accurate; they hustle and support each other; they are nice kids – they don’t play (or talk) dirty – they trust themselves to “just do it”
My daughter and her friends were talking about it being “ball life” now – even though they have dance and hockey and other activities, right now it’s all about basketball – and tonight they saw what that might lead to – they saw girls 3 years older than them as role models of what they need to do “to get there” – to be a team; to be teammates; to be leaders.
It also made me think about the role models: specifically the phrase used by some “I didn’t ask to be a role model” – because it’s not about ‘asking’. My daughter looks up to the group of girls on the basketball team we saw in part because she “knows” some of them, but more because of what they do – they didn’t ask to be role models, but they are.
As teachers, we are role models whether we want to or not. I was ‘the’ male on staff when I first came to my school (now we have one other part-time teacher who is male) and in elementary that’s a fair bit of pressure. As principal, I am also a role-model to my learning community. I know I am far from ‘a great role model’ – but I do like to think I do a good job of modelling creativity, questioning, risk-taking, humour and honesty.
My recent focus on what “I” need to do as a role model (for my kids, my students, and my entire learning community) came to me from a variety of reading & listening to Dr Tony Wagner (he was supposed to be live at one event, but was sick so webcast & we got “The Global Achievement Gap” as a condolence gift! – the Role Modeling here was “follow through on your commitments” and “sometimes a gift is nice – especially when unexpected/unneeded!” – oh, and he’s got a great mind for education too) where some key terms/ideas were synthesized by me onto the following word-poster I have hanging in my office:
It’s not a complete nor comprehensive list, and it does change from time to time, but it gives me a little anchor because tonight I saw my daughter looking at a team of girls who were resilient (because last season did not end the way they wanted it to) collaborative (teamwork was key) responsible, etc – while building off of some “basic skills” – in basketball its the footwork, the passing, the shooting; in education, the Reading, wRiting, and numeRacy that we want to build off of to “play with” – because as my daughter “explained to me” – practice is okay, but playing is so much better!
Bonus: right after I blogged this I saw @randysaenz post this on twitter: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/196539971208551636/