Things Teachers Don't Learn in School - #1 Extracurriculars

As the title indicates, I am going to write a series of blog posts about the things you don't learn during your undergraduate education as an education major. Today's focus: extracurriculars. This is a topic I feel particularly passionate about and if you've read my other posts, you may have caught onto that, so here we go.

What do you mean you didn't learn that?
I mean that no one ever told me that coaching and overseeing extracurricular activities would be a huge part of my work life. No one ever told me that these experiences would change me as a teacher because they would help me to get to know my students as something other than students. No one taught me that there would be days that being a part of these things would be my favorite pat of my day. I was actually discouraged from taking on these things as a new teacher, but I have always liked to blaze my own trail. I know that taking on additional responsibilities as a new teacher can be daunting, and it is not for everyone. I currently coach our mock trial team and organize our spring break study abroad trips.

During every trip and every mock trial season, I have gotten to teach lessons that don't get taught in the classroom. In class I don't always get to model how to lose gracefully, stand up for what you believe in, and become an effective leader. During a chemistry lesson, I don't get to show students how to be respectful when entering a new culture or how to take risks when trying new foods to fully experience a new place. I did not learn in college that I would be teaching students how to balance their time and not over-commit, and that these hard life lessons would come through extra-curricular activities. No class was offered on building confidence and helping students find their passions.

So what's the point?
The point is that for every second, minute, and hour I put into planning, coaching, and traveling with students, I get so much back in return. The rapport and relationships I build with my students during these experiences help me build stronger rapport within the classroom. I am not saying that every first year teacher should dive right into coaching and moderating, however, I am saying to consider it when you think you do have the time because it is an incredibly rewarding experience. I am so thankful that my principal encouraged me to coach as a first year teacher and travel to Boston and France with students as a second year teacher. These experiences have helped me be open minded and shaped the kind of educator I strive to be every single day.

Take the risk by getting involved. It's worth it.


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