I played “varsity” basketball at my small, Christian school. I was a starter in 6th grade, not because I was any good, but because our team was awful and half of it was 6th graders. I loved basketball and it was my life at the time. Thirty years later I don’t remember hardly anything about playing basketball except the following two stories.
We played other small, Christian schools but most of them were larger than our school. Two schools that we played were composed of all juniors and seniors that were good at basketball. It was literally men against boys. The first one beat us 104-11. Yup, 104-11. Of all of the athletic things that I have participated in my life that is the only score that I can remember. The school also called the radio station and had it reported. High school juniors and seniors ran up the score on a bunch of middle school kids and never let up. We were humiliated. I was humiliated. I hated that school.
The other school was probably better than the first and also beat us easily. I don’t remember the final score. What I do remember is the older players letting me drive into the lane and telling me, “You’re open. Shoot it!” They didn’t block my shot even though they easily could have. They were kind. I respected that school.
I know Maya Angelou’s quote has become cliche, but it is still true:
At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.
How will your students remember the year that they spend with you?