Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Support your students enthusiastically

Today is Sports Day. I hate Sports Day. And it's going to rain.

BUT - the bright side to events like this are the opportunity to see students shine, especially those who otherwise might not get the chance. In my second year of teaching several members of my form group joined the Handball Team. Given that it's a new sport in the UK joining the team was easy and these kids were not exactly 'sporty', but they were keen and worked hard. For several weeks they asked me to go watch their practice but I was unable to get there due to meetings.

After a month of preparation they had their first match. Like a proud parent I switched meetings and caught their eye as I joined them at the sideline. For the next 40 minutes I cheered, clapped and treated them like the superstars they were. Even though they were brutally defeated by a bigger, better team they never gave up - ever-propelled by crowd encouragement.

Attending games isn't easy with so many other priorities and that was my only handball foray that year. But making a concerted enthusiastic effort - even just once - will mean a big difference to your relationship with students.

I will keep repeating this as I stand with Year 9 in a crowded stand for the next 8 hours.