Sunday, October 2, 2011

I'm Not As Cool As I Pretend To Be

I follow several other teachers' blogs, one of which is also by a first-year teacher, and find myself at this point amazed that they can regularly blog AND teach successfully.

I guess I'm just not that cool, hence the fact that I haven't published a post since school started.  I do, however, have some things in the works.  One post is on some terrible research, one is on some odd higher education happenings in the UK, and a couple are on edu-philosophical mind-wanderings.

Meanwhile, during an unusually work-free Sunday afternoon, I'll describe how things have been:

They started out hectic.  I went to school daily for about three weeks prior to the beginning of school, but simply didn't know the right questions to ask and wound up swamped with papers and having no clue about how to truly function.  The first week of school was a whirlwind.

It's funny, I did go through the semester of student teaching which prompted this blog, but it still somehow was lightyears easier than my first year of solo teaching.  I've been assigned, as every new teacher is, a veteran teacher as a mentor.  Mrs. W is great, but does so much work that I avoid asking her questions as long as possible for fear of being a pest.  I shouldn't do that, but I do.

I've also been coaching soccer.  I'm assisting a head coach that has been around the proverbial block, and coaching the JV team mostly on my own.  The other coach is smart, experienced, principled, and deserving of respect, but we've had a couple of uncomfortable clashes nonetheless.  I once made him quite angry by talking to a possibly-injured player and a parent in order to quell a misunderstanding and defend this coach's trainer-recommended decision to not allow this student to play during this particular game.  I've also been routinely dumbstruck by his insistence on my getting every JV player almost-equal playing time due to such a practice being seemingly antithetical to his espoused principles.

I'll probably write about this in detail later, but as I see things there is a balance between "providing playing experience" and "selecting for team success" that must be struck at every level of sporting play.  It just seems that this coach and I disagree in practice on where the balance is struck for JV, even though we agree in principle.

I've finally got myself organized enough to be able to breathe (which I'll only remember to do if it's on a to-do list).  Thanks for keeping up, folks.

1 comment:

  1. I think it's hard in any activity to keep things fair and balanced when it's performance based. This is where the "life is not fair" part comes into it. It sucks that you can't just tell an entitled parent that "life is not fair, performance-based means your kid has to perform adequately". Obviously you would never be that callous, and I doubt any teacher would have the balls to say something like that to a parent. Where do we draw the line though? Must we be so fair to the point that the whole team suffers? And then since the team is not winning, they get their funding cut? And then there's no team at all? Where is the good in that?

    This can apply to almost any extra-curricular activity. I mean we're used to seeing it in public school music programs ALL. THE. TIME.

    We can't call ourselves good teachers while at the same time refusing to acknowledge the cold hard truth about this situation- they might not be the best, and that means they might not get to play/sing/act/whatever. If you want more playing time that means you spend more of your time practicing.

    You walk a fine line every day friend, I commend you in your efforts and think you are doing the best you can, which is better than a lot of teachers out there. As always, don't think too hard :D