Soccer helps

I have been struggling to find some sort of connection with boys in my class. The girls are easy- braid their hair, draw pictures with them or show an interest in their baby dolls and you are friends for life. About half of the boys in my class are the in still-so-young-and-sweet phase, which makes it easy to relate to them. Then there´s the other half of the boys, the boys that draw star troopers and robots and pictures of me as a troll. How do I gain respect with them? Finally, I have found the answer.

These boys are obsessed with soccer. La Copa America is currently taking place in Argentina and even morning before class, the boys trade their player stickers like baseball cards. They constantly draw pictures of soccer players. When learning the letter "B" the examples they gave in class were "Barcelona" and "Boca Juniors". In art class, they draw reenactments of games, usually between the US and Peru. Then they entusiastically come up to me screaming, "Miss! Miss! Your country won, your country beat Peru!"

Last Friday, I had to supervise playground time for my class. The transformer drawing, soccer loving group of boys skipped the playground and decided to play a pick up game instead. I was standing around supervising when one of them asked, "Miss, would you like to play?" I haven´t kicked a soccer ball since my days on the high school field, but I gave it a shot. The only rule was, "Miss, don´t kick it too high, it´s not fair if you do."
I kicked and passed and even scored a goal. My team actually passed me the ball instead of sticking to their mantra "Miss, girls can´t play soccer." I rocked the playground soccer field. I have been struggling for weeks to try to get these boys to understand that though my Spanish isn´t perfect and though I´m young, I am still in charge. Well, today I learned that showing off my soccer knowledge is a great way to be in with the boys.

After recess they ran to another teacher, "Miss! The Miss played soccer with us today and she´s really good!" I felt sweet victory when one of the boys ran up to me and asked, "Miss, will you play with us next Friday, too?"

There´s the answer: play some soccer and ask about Peru´s performance in La Copa America, you get them talking and instantly you have rock star status. At last, the ten years of soccer practice in my youth have come in handy.


Samantha Bangayan said...

Aww... what a heartwarming story, Meghan! I so admire your persistence in connecting with all of the children in your class. The Copa America sure is exciting and I'm so proud of your goal! =)

P.S. Love the new website theme! =) Sleek!

alvAroMan said...

Aren't you just the best 1st grade teacher ever? My 1st grade teacher would have never ever played soccer with us...

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