I finished my coaching season this week. The transition is always bittersweet. I am blessed to still teach many of my players and to be able to see others roaming the halls at school. We had a fabulous season and I was a little sad to be done.
One of our focuses near the end of the season was slowing down the game. My team liked to score – they are still in middle school after all – and getting them to stop scoring was sometimes a challenge. I emphasized passing, moved players into new positions, subbed out anyone that dribbled, etc. Then, I introduced the idea of slowing down the game. If you watch professional soccer, you will know teams do not run the score up excessively on their opponent, nor do they race the ball down the field every single possession. Instead, they often take control of the ball and slow down the game. It is beautiful to watch and a difficult skill for a middle school player to develop. By the end of the season, we were still a work in progress 😉
In the classroom, the challenge of slowing down continues. Making our way through the set curriculum in the amount of time we are given (let alone all the interrupted schedules and unexpected days without class for field trips, events, etc.), poses a challenge. To think of slowing down may cause some of us to freak out. We can think about slowing down in different ways, though, not just in covering content. We can also work on helping our students slow down. How often do you see kids rush through classwork in order to be done rather than to learn? I know there is a balance between giving enough work so students are *hopefully* thinking and learning from bell to bell, and not so much they feel overwhelmed or have homework. So, how do we cultivate slowing down? I think we have to model it.
Dear reader, I must pause here. I want to write more but my kids are now awake and my brain has jumped to the million things I need to do before we head out the door. If you have ideas for teaching my brain to slow down, I would love to hear them!!! 🙂