What if teachers were more like football fans? I wonder if such a simple, single-minded approach (as is often characteristic of today’s football fan) to the educational world would ease and/or enhance a teachers’ professional attitude. My observation is that most football fans display an unbridled passion for their chosen team. This emotion borders on the irrational and can be the source of whoops of joy and exultation when the team is doing well or ungodly moans of despair when the boys are struggling to keep up to their opponents.
Football fans are unquestionably loyal; almost blindly so. To suggest that it might be a nice to support the efforts of a neighbouring or rival team is as close to heresy as one can imagine. Perhaps it is the tribal nature of the football fan that accounts for the enthusiasm and cacophony so evident in their participation in the club’s call to arms or anthem at the beginning and throughout each match.
I suspect that many well-versed football fans are in reality arm chair managers and coaches as they spend hours with other like-minded followers – rehashing, reliving, and regurgitating each play, subsubstitution, penalty, missed goal etc. Irrepressible football fans are known to tune into game highlights repeatedly perhaps hopeful of an allusive insight about the play or a player. Above all else, football fans are true optimists. They are hopeful beyond imagination at the start of each season; hopeful of a strong place amongst the league’s top teams. Fans are equally optimistic at the commencement of each game as they rant for the demolition of their opponent. Equally noteworthy is the veritable comradery within the football fan community. They wear their teams’ colours and emblems with honour, even in face of defeat and display a unique strength of conviction in the teams’ eventual and well-deserved success.
So, what if teachers today were more like football fans? What if the class represented a teacher’s chosen team? For starters, we might see teachers intently focused on individual and group effort. Football fan teacher faces would light up when surrounded by their students and as instructors, they would defend their particular classroom when responding to challenges and anything that happened to get in the way of the leaning process. Similar to the football fan, teachers would commence each class with a high energy and positive welcome followed by subsequent and unbridled cheers of encouragement when the momentum for learning lagged throughout the day.
If teachers were more like football fans, there would be no room for nonsense when it came to learning. In the world of these rabid teachers, expressions such as “He tried his best” or “She’ll have a better day tomorrow” are not acceptable. Football fan teachers want to hear, “Dig in!”, “Move it!”, “Get up and stop your whining!” Essentially, football fan teachers want results! The good news is that when the results eventuate, football fan teachers erupt in leaps of exhilarating great joy. Imagine the atmosphere! If teachers were more like football fans, they wouldn’t be embarrassed to show their emotion and passion for learning. They would be unquestionably proud in moments of student success and unbelievably frustrated and disappointed when their students falter and stumble. However, later in the day these same teachers would seek out other football fan teachers and breakdown each and every aspect of the learning process in their classroom in order to generate new approaches and plans that could lead to success with learning.
Teachers who are like football fans would bear evidence of their profession with pride and every movement, grimace, gesture or vocalization would be emanate from their loyalty, almost obsession, to their commitment to the profession and their responsibility as educators to the students in their classrooms.
If teachers were more like football fans, they would exist in an ever hopeful mind set; optimistic of every students’ chance of success with learning. The commencement of a new academic year brings a feeling of excitement and belief that this year will be one of the best! Similarly, the beginning of each school day is electric with positive energy as the teachers welcome another chance to advance in the learning league. At the end of the day, football fan teachers leave their class exhausted yet the feeling of efficacy is intensely infectious as the teachers look forward to what the next day will bring.
So, what if teachers were more like football fans? Maybe we would see students learning with teachers who are focused and passionate about student success. Maybe we would see and hear teachers celebrate the banners of their professionalism. Maybe this would be a win-win situation! Imagine!