Rooting

I was at basketball camp tonight for K-5th graders at one of the elementary schools in our district. It was the end of the day and we ended with a game of knockout.

One of the high school players, "had his money" on a certain player to win the game. The kid standing next to the kid who was "spoken for" had a frowny look on his face. One that said, "I'm not good enough." "Why didn't you pick me?" and "I'm not wanted."

I quickly told that kid that if I had a lot of money, I'd put it on him. The kid's eyes lit up. He had a sense of purpose and a sense of urgency. He now mattered. He now was a kid determined to do something great, not just simply, a kid.

I have this notion that students had the same fantastical upbringing that I had. The one where your parents are always there to help you with everything. The one where your mom stays home. The one where your dad is your coach at whatever sport you play. The one where your mom cuts up your waffles because they taste better when she does. Yes, that type of upbringing. It sometimes gets the best me.

His face. His attitude. His level of intensity. All of them increased because I told him that I was in his corner rooting him on.  His attitude went from boring and uninterested into the camp/day being something that he couldn't miss. It was all because I took them time to cheer him on individually. It made his day.

Deep down, each person just wants someone to root for them. Someone to have their back. Someone to say, "I believe in you." Someone to be there for you when you think that you can't accomplish something.

I've had a lot of these types of people in my life. I truly am blessed.

Who are you rooting for?
What ways can you show you're rooting for others?
How does cultivating relationships improve your students' overall school experience?

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