I often spend my lunch times as a teacher taking extra activities for students. I do this as it helps to build rapport with students, and the better the rapport you have with them, the better they will behave for you in class. It also allows the students to have interactions with each other that they may not have in classrooms or in the play ground. It can help to motivate them and allow them to achieve more in life. However, I don’t take sporting groups, I leave that for others; I undertake activities such as Motivation course and Cards.
When thinking about extra activities, many people are motivated to coach a sporting team. One of the desires for this is the glory that comes with a team. In some towns the high school sporting team can be very import. While there is nothing wrong with this, we must remember that there are plenty of students that are not motivated to play sports, but still want to be a part of a group.
Sport is not the be all and end all of life, and it is not the only thing that people are passionate about. A lot of student that are not into sport, are often seen as lacking motivation and passion, however, this can be far from the case. The non-sporting students can often be very passionate about what they like. The problem can be that nobody wants to hear about their passions. And nobody tries to motivate them.
Students are a passionate about a great many things. The further their passions are from the norm, the harder they find it to express themselves. Some of the more out of the norm, but still common passions revolve around a love of comics, science fiction and trading card games. These things are normally loved by students that are not physically active, may feel a little shy or awkward and are what is typically classed as a nerd.
Well let me state straight up, I like nerds. They are passionate, normally polite and are quick learners. Unfortunately they tend to get left out of various activities. It is because of this I believe that these students need to have social groups, just the same as a sporting team. They do not need to be ostracized or ignored just because they don’t want to run the length of a football field.
I also believe that they need role models and guidance. They, like any other student, are still learning about the world and how to act and behave within it. They need people who will help them be more motivated, learn the social etiquette of life and allow them to become a better person. If they are not part of a sporting team, then they can miss out on this.
Fortunately I am a nerd. I love science fiction, my comics and playing cards. That means I can easy mix with the non sporting students and know what they are talking about. It makes me one of them, and then as a role model I can help them to develop their skills. Through various activities they learn motivation and team team work, just like any sporting team.
My extra activities are not glamorous, or bring glory. They do, however, play just as important aspect in my student’s lives. It makes them feel wanted, and they are, and it lets them know that someone believes in them. This is the same characteristics that a coach would have with their team.
So in your teaching career, you need to be able to champion all of your students. They are all important and have passions that they want to share with you. Give them a forum to express themselves and allow them to see that you have a nerdy side. You will be glad that you did.