This time of year the Gilsons, when not teaching, are at basketball. If not working in the concession, I am sitting on the bench or in the stands cheering the kids on. We love to support the kids, we love visiting with the parents but it is a time commitment and I think often other things suffer because attention and time are spread so thin.
We were at a game the other night and the rival team was perhaps the most vocal and energetic bench I had ever witnessed. They did not stop chanting and cheering on their teammates on the floor the whole game. It was "D-fence" chants on defence and a new one to me "work" on offence and it was not just a few seconds here and there is was rhythmic, they were clapping to a beat and chanting and it was motivating even as someone cheering the opposite team. They, the bench, were like a 6th man on the floor. Working in unison to lift up their teammates. It was something else. But that was not the end to this impressive display of teamwork. At half time while most coaches I know fill the time with coaching, talking to the team pointing out areas they can improve, hopefully offering compliments to what they are doing well, this teams coach stepped away. The players lead their half time discussion. They celebrated each other, they coached each other, they offered feedback constructively. There was no finger pointing, they were lifting each other up. Those of us sitting together all noticed this display of unity, team, family. It was impressive.
Looking at teaching, because it all comes back to that I leave with a few thoughts.
How can my classroom reflect this team more?
How can my staff support each other more?
How can my students take on this lift up versus call down mentality?
How do we build this within our own organizations?
We talk a lot in teaching and in coaching. We value a sense of community, we worry more about the kids than the scores, it is about helping develop character and being part of the team that helps develop awesome homes. But what about when the results are down? What about when we forget about the "WORK" what about when the kids do?
These are the moments that really define us. I am grateful I have so many amazing team members with my wife, PLN, coworkers and students. But we have work to do.