I teach in a school of nearly 2400 students and am completing my twelfth year there.
My daughter is about to finish her freshman year. She lets me ride to school with her because it makes me cool. I thank her everyday for that.
Of course I follow our school’s sports teams. It is a source of pride for our school, our community, but more importantly, those are my students out there competing and learning about teamwork and perseverance.
But I also go to games to see other students support their peers, their friends, their siblings, their neighbors, their fellow Titans. And I went to one last night. We won. I looked forward to reading about it in the paper the next day.
My family gets an actual copy of the Winston-Salem Journal every day. It’s our newspaper. Journalism is important to us. It supports the community.
And a particular clause from the lead sports story caught my eye this morning (http://www.journalnow.com/sports/prepzone/west-forsyth-girls-soccer-beats-myers-park-in-ot-advances/article_b8b65ee9-e569-541b-b64e-82f0b738d139.html) :
“who was mobbed on the field after the game by the large student section in attendance”
The game was a girls soccer game, specifically a fourth round state playoff game against a team that had surrendered only three goals the entire year up to that game and had only lost one time all year.
Aside from the high level of play on the field, the amount of students at the game was amazing. The cheering, the chanting, the urging, the encouragement. A victory in overtime.
Students jumping on the field to celebrate the accomplishment of a team representing a school.
I wish some folks in Raleigh could have seen that and tried to measure what that could actually mean.
But there was so much more involved.
What if I told you the number of AP tests taken by the ladies on the team that just won a chance to play in the final four of the state?
What if I told you the amount of academic scholarship money the seniors on that team had won already?
What if I told you that some of the students who rushed the field do not even play a sport but are involved in other ways at school that are just as celebrated?
What if I told you that 500 yards away in the Performing Arts Center a dance concert was being performed at the same time that included over 350 students dancing to a sold-out theater of 800 where just as many students were attending supporting their peers and friends as parents and family members?
What if I told you that at that very moment the boys track and field team was literally finishing winning their first ever state championship in Greensboro by the slimmest of margins?
What if I told you that one of the head coaches of the state championship track team is also the head of the art department that consistently has multiple students win gold key awards each year? What if I told you that the other head coach was our school’s teacher of the year? Or that one of the assistant coaches is a North Carolina Teaching Fellow? Or that the other assistant coach works with special needs students?
What if I told you that the head girls soccer coach on the day of the third round playoff game turned in all of his materials for National Board Certification, one of the more rigorous processes a teacher can undergo? His assistant happens to be the AP Calculus teacher and his students just took their exam a few days ago. Some were on that soccer field. The other assistant coach happens to have a son in one of my AP classes.
And earlier that day before the soccer game, I was putting together some background templates for the literary magazine for this year that will include the best art and literary work of our students. And like every other year, that track coach will send me amazing work, except his finger will be heavier with a new ring.
And after I post this, I will read a draft of an article by a student writing for the school newspaper about how Governor’s School has been defunded in the new NC Senate budget. She went to Governor’s School this past summer. She’s also the editor of the school newspaper.
She was also on that soccer field last night.
As a player.
One of two on the team who went to Governor’s School.
And by the way, my daughter was in that dance concert that occurred at the same time as the soccer game.
But I saw it Wednesday. They “packed the house” for three nights in a row.
Measure that Raleigh.