Monday, October 6, 2014

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Did you always want to be a teacher?

I did.

There was a brief moment in high school when I thought I may want to be a family and child psychologist, but it was suggested to me that I may become too emotionally involved and take my work home so I opted to go the education route instead.  Um.  Teachers are emotionally involved and take all their work home.  It's ok, it turned out fabulous and I love what I do.

I was thinking of this last night when I saw this sign on tv while watching the Royals game.  It said "*teacher name*, I'm going to be tardy tomorrow!"  and everyone around him was laughing and the announcers were talking about how a lot of students would probably be late in the morning.

There are some tired students in Kansas City today...and a lot of teachers as well!  (NICE sweep, Royals!!!)

Now I'm thinking about the Seahawks game on tonight on Monday Night Football and thinking about how tired all my students will be on Tuesday morning after staying up to watch the game (except it's the west coast, so really it's all done by bedtime).  After the Super Bowl win last year, some teachers had just a handful of students arrive on parade day.

Every year our DARE officer used to come in and ask my students what they want to be when they grow up.  They have a variety of ideas: veterinarian, teacher, doctor, etc.  But most of the kids (mostly boys, but not always) say they want to be a pro football player, or baseball player, or basketball player, or soccer player.  Or they want to be a college something-ball player (we need to have a conversation about what a career is apparently because you can't stay in college forever, no matter how much you may want to, because it's just plain expensive).  This happens every year.

*sigh*  It makes me sad.

I battle with this.  Did I stay up late to watch the same games?  Yes.  Was I tired?  Yes.  But I'm an adult and made that decision and I know my responsibilities and will still do my job the next day.  I'm not saying "parents shouldn't let their kids do that!" because I don't feel that way either... these things are fun...and great hometown pride!

I have nothing against pro-ball players.  I quite enjoy hanging out and watching them play and having reasons for friends to get together and yell at the television.  I know that players on pro teams are doing a job and that it is their career.

I have nothing against kids being on sports teams.  I want well rounded students.  I want my students to be kids and go outside and play.  I want them to learn team sports and sportsmanship.  I want them to be problem solvers and good teammates.  I want them to play sports and find the enjoyment in being a player and spectator.

But the odds of a child having pro-ball as a career are small and unless they possess and can cultivate that special talent, we just keep feeding a goal that is probably unattainable.  Or at least a ton of hard work during a really valuable learning age.

Work that is distracting at school time because they are talking about yesterday's game.  Or last week's try outs (in 4th grade, sad face).  Work that is put aside because of two hour practice after school.  And all day game schedules on the weekend.  Sports should be about teamwork, working towards a team goal, and having fun.

I just wonder...

What if we refocused that energy?  What if we put the emphasis on school and academic work in order to better prepare our children for the future they will have?

I don't know.  Food for thought.


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