Football, a game many enjoy and watch, is huge today. From sports apparel to fantasy football teams and watching their preferred teams each week, people are engaged in the sport. It’s something to do, enjoy, play, watch, and follow. People spend hours upon hours following the team’s every move. From who teams draft and trade to what the players do on and off the field. It’s a culture and a way of life for so many. Education, like football, has similar facets that compare the game that so many watch and enjoy. Identifying those in my world as an educator has been a journey and multiple aha moments.
In football, pre-season is the beginning of a new season with new beginnings. The time where players develop their skills, get to know one another and come together as a team. In education, we consider this as the pre-service and staff development, we as the staff, have the opportunity to participate in to come together and become united. Teachers aren’t paid in the same respect as football players but they still have the opportunity to grow as a player and a teacher on our respected fields.
Football players have a specific set of plays they practice, know, and can call on the field. Teachers have the specific standards set by their state as well as district curriculum they are expected to implement and utilize. The playbooks are set, practiced, and they’re implemented.
In football, we can all spot a fumble. When a play doesn’t go as planned. When the ball is dropped by your team and the coach loses his mind. When something doesn’t go right. In education, when something doesn’t go right or someone acts out, it’s a fumble. When your students act like they have no idea what you’re talking about in front of an observer, it’s a fumble. When you have a meltdown and know you didn’t do something like you envisioned, it’s a fumble. When things go astray, fumbles arise and plays, or plans, don’t go how you planned.
When a play is passed into the end zone or carried down the field, that touchdown is awesome. Sometimes it’s a pass that makes everyone wonder how it actually happened and other times it’s a spectacular pass that is caught. Those touchdown moments are memorable and celebrated. Touchdowns in education are when something is celebrated, finished, and something that happens in the classroom/school that is meaningful. Touchdowns are memorable in education and are usually tied to a moment that is meaningful for the staff and/or students.
Education has changed from the time when the teacher taught everything to a dynamic, learner centered environment. From the football game and season to the school year and summer break, education has its pre-season memories, playbooks, fumbles, and many touchdowns. It’s authentic, memorable, and unique. People spend hours watching football and teachers and staff spend hours upon hours supporting students. It’s a dynamic experience just like a football game. Take to heart the memories that surround the journey in education. They matter just like the score of a football game.