I got sick today watching the HMS baseball team give away our baseball game. The players (with the exception of three or four) were not playing baseball very well. There was very little hustle, enthusiasm, and focus. While watching the game, I noticed so many areas of the game that need addressed, but I know that there is too little time to address all of the issues in practice. As I drove home, I could not stop thinking about all of the work that needs to be done.
The issue is not that our players are bad. We have a good, athletic team, but most of the players have not been around quality baseball in the past. Some of them have played in the sub-par rec. league and others play on their gaming systems, but very few of them have ever seen good baseball modeled for them. Therefore, we must teach or re-teach correctly every aspect of the game.
After acknowledging this fact, I started to think about the classroom. It seems that at the 7th grade level, my students are very similar to the baseball players. They have not had very good reading and writing modeled for them. I feel like I am having to teach and re-teach every aspect of reading and writing which is keeping us from moving onto critiquing literature and critical thinking.
Without a core knowledge of baseball and a core knowledge of reading and writing, it feels impossible to have the students or athletes excel in their respective environments. We are fighting against years of neglect and bad habits. It makes me sick to see the struggles that my athletes and students have to perform average and even less than average work. However, I know that my passion to see the change is what the student and athletes need to begin the process of producing quality and meaningful work.