Middle School Hero

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jan 23 2013

A benefit of coaching

Since the start of the new semester I’ve had the opportunity to reengage in one of my favorite parts of working at RMS: coaching. And, even better, this semester I’m getting to work with my one true love, socccer. As much fun as softball is, soccer is and always has been my forte. In high school, my best friend used to tease me by saying that all I really wanted to do with my life is coach high school soccer. Well, I’m not quite at a high school but I am coaching and I am loving it.

Anyways, I’ll be sure to regale everyone with many future posts about my coaching experiences but with the season being two months away, that isn’t exactly a priority to blog about. However, something cool did happen today that excited me:

During 6th hour I covered an 8th grade class for another teacher who was out sick. The 8th graders here have been notorious for their discipline problems because they spent an entire two years in this system with an administration and teaching staff that has been replaced this year. As a whole, the 8th grade has most strongly resisted the change brought about this year and they can be tough to cover for.

However, today I had several of my soccer players in this class. After I got everyone settled in and working, one of them asked me if I’d be at practice today. Another one gave me a knowing smile and nod and worked quietly all period. These particular students fit the exact same demographic and had the same “look” as everyone else in the room but I didn’t have a problem out of any of them.

I don’t know if its because they’re afraid I’ll make them run or because they already know that I care about their wellbeing but it was great to see that simply being present and firm worked wonders for them and helped them become better students and people than they were yesterday.

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