It’s that time of year: baseball season! Here in the Kansas City area the cheering is loud and The K is rocking with fresh fervor and a 10-3 record. Even if you don’t love baseball it’s hard to not sense the electricity in the air when things are going our way, and it’s impossible to not draw parallels between what works on the field and what works in the classroom. Here are just three of the lessons baseball can teach a teacher:
1: Focus. If you’ve ever been to a baseball game you’ve heard someone yell ‘keep your eye on the ball.’ What’s great is that ‘ball’ doesn’t always mean ball. It just means to focus. Focus on the task in front of you and block out distractions. If you’re frazzled and think you can’t get through another day, focus on an upcoming trip or long weekend. Remember that time in the classroom is a marathon, not a sprint; every day won’t be perfect but you can make a difference every day, in little ways.
2: Get your uniform dirty. Really good baseball teams have something in common: they leave the field filthy. It’s a sign of commitment and passion. You won’t be sliding into second in the classroom, but you will get your hands dirty. And maybe your pants if you’re down on the floor with your students. Wear the streaks and smudges with pride. They’re signs of love.
3: It’s all about the team. Superstars aren’t built in a vacuum, and there would be no grand slams if three other men hadn’t first found their way on base. Same is true in teaching; sure, you can be the only teacher in a room, but it takes a school to educate a student, and it takes colleagues to get through the day. Ask for help when you need it, and give it when you can.