Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Softball Tournament - Celebrating success

Sport has always been a huge part of my life.  At Pt England I have been able to build a large amount of rapport with students in all years through sport. This year I’m really excited to continue building relationships with students all throughout the school through sport.

This term In week 1 I was able to take softball trials for year 7&8 boys. I had about 4 trials with the boys, and then we had a couple of lunchtime trainings before I took a team to the Tamaki Cluster Schools Softball Tournament.

I wanted to make sure that they played as a team, and I held the team accountable to one another including looking after the gear bag, and getting to each other to and from class or training. I was looking to build that sense of a real team, that sense of belonging, that is often missing from school teams.

I was hard on the students' but let them also know how highly I thought of them. They didn't have much confidence in themselves playing together, especially fielding. I was fortunate enough to be able to take them to a tournament. I knew that they would come together on the day but it would take a while before they were comfortable and settled into their positions. Our first game we were down by one to start with, but came back strong in the 2nd innings and won 3-1.  Everyone was ecstatic as we pulled off a double play that we had been practising lots. This lifted them a bit. Second game was extremely tough, but they held themselves together in the field and we were able to win 3-0. We reached the final, the students were nervous but I assured them to stick to the basics, they did and we won 3-0.

The kids were so proud of themselves that they had won the tournament, and were shaking each others hands. At this point, I was able to reflect, and realised how proud I was to see that they had come together as a team.  The joy on the students' faces, how happy and proud they were of themselves and each other, that for me was more than I could have asked for as a coach of the team (the win was nice though).

I think it is so important for students' to have an extra-curricular 'event' in their lives as they are able to show their strengths and be a leader in different situations to the classroom. Forming relationships with students is so important for teaching. There is a difference I think however, in  being in the classroom, and having the opportunity to connect with learners in different environments. It is so important that every child finds their something that lets them shine, whether it be in the classroom, the sporting field, or something completely different. I love being able to coach sport, and seeing some students in a completely different light.

I need to take what I have learned here, and bring it with me into the classroom. That there are many types of ways my students can excel and succeed, and these need to be celebrated. Not just those that succeed in reading and writing.

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