Almost all of my kids are obsessed with soccer and completely worship the school’s soccer coach. Although our school doesn’t have sports teams, about half of the kids are allowed to have soccer practice during the school day instead of regular gym class. They also play in a local league with the same coach.
Though I watched my kids play in games several times early in the year, I had been saying for awhile that I wanted to go to their school day soccer practice and see how they interact with their coach- especially my toughest boys.
I finally got to attend soccer practice yesterday, and it was the highlight of my week. I mentioned to a few of the boys on Wednesday that I would be at practice and they were way more excited than I expected. By Thursday morning it was quite the hot topic in the middle school. Boys in the other 6th grade classes and even in the 7th and 8th grades stopped me in the hallway and at lunch to ask if it was true.
When we finally got to practice on Thursday, I had more than a few of my students’ eyes on me as I dribbled through the same drills. 10 minutes later, after some header practice, I overheard the whispered pronouncement from a boy who’s usually my toughest critic: “Dangggg, she’s good, she’s actually good!”
Then we got split up into teams for the scrimmage. I pretty much stayed near the sideline, jogging back and forth and watching the action until J. came my way with the ball. He cut left, I stepped in front of his path and then he kept going but without the ball, while I passed it down the field to my team. All 30 or so boys in the gym, plus the coach, erupt into screams and catcalls: “J. got JUKED! He got juked by a TEACHER!” I didn’t do much the rest of the game, but apparently it didn’t matter. Afterward I heard, “Where did you learn to play soccer like THAT?” and “man Ms. S., you’re pretty good!”
Also, from the coach, who is now pretty much my favorite person: “That’s what J. gets for not doing his homework!”
Seriously, who cares about student achievement or high expectations…this was definitely one of my proudest moments as a teacher. (Just kidding, TFA! But seriously).