Is your classroom filled with high stakes, last-minute projects, and rabid fans (parents)? If so, you may want to start considering your classroom to be a whole lot like a professional football stadium. That’s according to a recent talk that happened at Harvard Graduate School of Education’s AskWith Forum this week.
Below are a few excerpts from the Harvard Gazette who covered the event. There were former players and NFL executives as well as education professionals discussing exactly how your classroom is like the NFL (and why that’s a good thing):
“If one person blows their assignment, the game is shot. It very much relates to the relationship between teacher and student, and between teacher and teacher . . . [everyone] is dependent on one another’s success,” said Domonique Foxworth, president of the NFL Players Association and former cornerback with the Baltimore Ravens, who urged school administrators to consider the creation of teaching teams.
NFL executives also discussed a key way that teaching is a lot like coaching an NFL team:
One important method of NFL coaching that can be applied to teaching is the use of video to assess player performance. Experts agree that most teachers receive inadequate feedback on the work they do, with evaluations often consisting of a visit from a principal for a few minutes each year. Not so in the NFL, where obsessive analysis of videotaped training sessions and games are vital to helping players and coaches understand what they do well and what they need help with, said Brendan Daly, defensive line coach for the Minnesota Vikings and brother of Tim.
On the critical importance of why teachers must learn the latest technology in order to successfully integrate it into the classroom:
“If we want people to be excellent practitioners in the classroom and we want them to know what they are doing,” he said, “we have to invest more in helping them learn these techniques.”
One of my favorite quotes from the story touches on the complexity of football plays and running a successful project in your classroom:
He compared a complicated play on the football field to everything that happens in one class.
“A good teacher can tell you all those individual decisions that they are making and why.”