Summer is a great time for sports. The weather is warm, the days are long, and many people have more time to participate in sports activities. At this time of the year many people are focusing on world sports events as well.
We need to help children understand that there is something out there for everyone. They just need to step out and give it a try. This can apply to adults too.
This is one of my favorite posters. I refer to it often as we focus on building class community and positive self-esteem. I feel it is important to help children understand that everyone was a beginner at some point. This is not an obvious thing for them and they often get discouraged when starting new ventures because they don't always succeed at first. Once they understand this idea, they are more willing to keep trying. They then develop the skills needed to be successful.
When participating in team sports activities, it is important to be a good team player. Everyone has a role on the team and when the team works well together, success usually results. It isn't all about winning, but about being able to say you did your best and you supported your team well. You need to figure out what your role is and then learn to be effective in it. Children will often need some guidance in learning about these roles and how to do them well.
Some sports are individual sports. These sports can also have a team element, but they are usually more focused on individual performance. Personal goals become the focus as athletes work on developing skills and achieving their personal bests. Although there is a competitive component, the real opponent is yourself as you try to outdo what you have done in the past. Striving to do your best becomes the motivator.
It is important to remember to keep a fun element in what you are doing. I remember attending many swim meets, track meets, and soccer games as my children were growing up and it was great to see them excelling, but it was even more gratifying to see them interacting with their teammates and developing friendships with other athletes. Supporting teammates and other athletes in their high moments and in their defeats became more obvious as time went on. It was interesting to hear my daughter comment the other day about how the best part of the meets was hanging out with the other athletes.
In the classroom, teamwork is important as well. If the group works well as a team, then success is bound to be a product of the performance. Of course there will be times when someone drops the baton or slips up, but a good team will rally around that situation and carry on.
We as teachers need to help children to develop good team skills and support them when they do slip up. We need to provide them with the tools to be good team players and good sports. This will allow them to soar in a competitive world. When they fall, they will be able to pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and continue on. Minor setbacks will be part of growing and developing rather than failures that prevent them from moving forward.
As you begin a new school year, I wish you many happy times as your students grow and become awesome team members. Here's to a very successful year!
About Me Charlene Sequeira
I am a wife, mother of 4, grandmother of 9, and a retired primary and music teacher. I love working with kids and continue to volunteer at school and teach ukulele.