Go Team? (Adventures in School Spirit)

This is pretty much my understanding of American Football.

This is pretty much my understanding of American Football.

Today, I will be attending the first High School Football game of the season. I went to one Football game in my entire time at the University of Southern California, and none of my own High School games. The Super Bowl comes and goes annually, pretty much without me noticing too much. As a result, this is very much new ground for me.

I went to two of the games last year, but only because of the Leadership driven school activities afterward that needed to be set up, such as the Aloha Dance and the Homecoming Dance. It wasn’t really the game itself that was the draw, so I got to make cameo appearances while setting other activities in motion.

This game…I’m pretty much entrenched to actually watch, which seems a bit on the boring side to me. The Band is playing, and a huge number of the Magic: The Gathering players are in Band. I have a number of students in Cheer that I aggressively support, as well as one in Color Guard. Finally, I have about a third of my homeroom on the Varsity Team this year, playing in their first Varsity game.

In other words, there are a whole lot of students that will be doing their thing, as it were, that would find it pretty awesome for me to show up. That makes it worth being bored for a while, I think.

I’ve been trying to convince other teachers to attend, and that has been a Hard Sell. My current co-teacher will be on board, as will the history teacher I’ve begun collaborating with. Pretty much the rest of the staff seem to be heading off to their adult lives, which is a bit shortsighted.

You see…I can be kind of mean sometimes. I know it, and the kids know it. I’m a person, so…that can happen. It’s not like I’m Mother Teresa. The thing is…when you show up to school activities…all you have to do is SHOW UP…the kids cut you a lot of slack. A LOT. You instantly fall into the category of People Who Care About Them.

That immediately leverages itself into easier classroom management. The teachers that complain the most about classroom management…they never make it out to anything. They can actually be nice to a fault, but the students somehow perceive it as phony, since it’s ‘on the clock” time. They are far more willing to accept a person who has instances of being mean, or even unfair, if that person also spends some of their own time on them. In a very meaningful way, it’s a very insightful intuition on their part.

I’m actually looking forward to it, since there are so many students that I’m quite fond of participating in different ways. The kids have asked if I am bringing a pony, to which I said, “Of course. The ponies are curious about football.” This got a polite chuckle.

During the time that both the Band, and myself have to wait around for the game? I think I already mentioned that a large contingent of them are Magic players. We are convening for a very serious after school multiplayer game to pass the time, until we all need to go fulfill our roles.

That should be awesome.

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