Day 46 (of 184) on football with thanks to @ubctbirds @cfl @seahawks
Football has been a significant part of my evolution as an educator.
As a high school student in rural BC, I never had an opportunity to play. But my dad said that shouldn’t stop me (an early model of supporting passion-projects which I have continued to encourage as an educator) And weird as it was, UBC allowed me to play on the offensive and defensive lines. I wasn’t great – but I learned so much about teamwork and the importance of differentiated leadership. Teams-within-teams and leadership from above & from below were both concepts I better understood by being part of a team. (Currently watching UBC take on UofCal in the Hardy Cup)
As I started my teaching career I have had a few opportunities to coach a few BC high school football teams and some fabulous student athletes (including cfl map @jonnycornish ). It was during this time I even further understood the power of descriptive feedback (that tackle was 8/10 isn’t going to help anyone). Over time it also helped me see ‘bigger pictures’ – how working on little things leads to bigger accomplishments. It also helped me reinforce the ideas of deadlines: many deadlines are artificial – but occasionally there are ‘game times’ that mean you have to show what you can do. (And of course I’m a bit conflicted as Jon Cornish’s Calgary Stampeders take on my ‘home team’ @bclions the day after the city’s university teams take each other on).
And I have also learned a lot as a fan(attic) of the @seahawks. @petecarroll learned from precious NFL coaching opportunities to make the most of his time in Seattle. Drafting quarterback @dangerusswils who was ‘too small’ helped the team identify with a “why not us” attitude to get to consequirive superbowls. More than that – identifying the “12th Man” – the crowd making home games very difficult for visitors – has helped me acknowledge the importance of looking at learning ‘beyond classroom walls & beyond the schoolyard fences’. Our larger neighbourhood can (and often does) help make our Learning Community even better for all members. #gohawks
And of course most of all – the games that we see on TV show only part of the journey of these athletes – much like too often we only see a few moments of students works (an occasional project or just a graduation ceremony) which has been a big reason why I have supported the shift to eportfolios to show the bigger learning journey our students take….and I know teachers & students / coaches & athletes out in a lot more time and work into getting to those ‘final’ products (and then take the info via feedback loops to get ready for ‘the next one’)!
And funnest of all – the pride people take in their schools (from primary to graduate schools) and football teams based on attendance or region. I’ve always been lucky to be in ‘the best school’ and a fan of ‘the best teams’ (whatever their records or rankings are)I’ve learned a lot from playing, coaching and watching football – and am proud that it influences my role as an educator.