Saturday, March 2, 2013


I was stretched today...I received a text last night, informing me that I would be assistant coach today for my daughter's AAU basketball game.  

I replied with, "ALL WILL BE SORRY!"

As I observed the other mother who stepped in to be head coach for the day, I felt quite inadequate.  She had coached before.  She knew the plays; she knew the positions; she knew what she was doing.  I was there, simply, for moral support--and to get ice--and to get water.

As we drove home, I began connecting the experience to my own teaching.  I've attended TONS of basketball games, I've heard basketball rules,  and I've watched coaches run drills--yet I really had no idea how to coach those eight fifth-grade girls--or anyone--for that matter!

How many times are there students in my class who hear all the rules, listen intently to all the teaching, but then have absolutely no clue what to do when it is time to perform?  I often tell myself that they weren't listening, or they don't care, or that maybe they're even lazy.

Yet there I was--today--unsure, inept, and performing poorly.  I most likely would have received an "F" (or maybe a D-) if I'd been evaluated, especially compared to amazing mom #1.  

Yet I did my best.

How many times do students DO THEIR BEST--only to receive failing grades?  



  1. Incredible insight Shelley. And you not only ask an excellent question, you also set an example to learn from a tough situation instead of blaming someone else or making an excuse. Can we share this with all our staff?

  2. These are my favorite kinds of slices...moments from the day that make us think of something else in a new light. Your final question haunts me.

  3. You made a powerful connection ...and now you take the lessons learned to your classroom. Great slice!

  4. It is sobering when student experience becomes so apparent to us. This sort of reflection is exactly what makes you an amazing teacher. I know this thought will be carried from your heart into your classroom. Now it will find its way to my classroom as well.

  5. I am loving this SOL thing...
    The comments are inspiring! Thank you for taking the time to respond to my writing, friends!!!

  6. It is always interesting when we catch a glimpse of what things must be like for our students. Good insights, and great questions!

  7. Wow! This was a really thoughtful short piece. I hate having my kids in sports for this very reason. The leagues are always telling me, "We'll teach you how to coach!" All I can say is, "You'll be sorry!" I really do feel like such a fool on the field. It does, though, make you think about our natural inclinations as well as doing the best we can in subject matters that we might struggle with. You really made me think about empathy.