The adventures of a fourth grade teacher in East Central Illinois.

Spring Training

One of the highlights of the end of the year at Wiley is the epic (and yes, I do mean epic) Teachers vs. Students Kickball Game. This tradition has last several years and I have been a proud part of it since my first year here. (Admittedly, this is only my third year, but still, I love the kickball game!) The game is a part of our annual Wiley Fun Day, which is our big PBIS send-off for the year.

Not all of the teachers play, but there are enough of us who volunteer to do so that we are able to field a respectable team. The students’ team, on the other hand, is by peer nomination. The six intermediate classes (third through fifth grades) each select two boys and two girls to represent them on the team. I allow my students to vote for the classmates they want to have participate based on the criteria of athletic skill and good sportsmanship. We have had students in the past who were very athletic but had failed to demonstrate good sportsmanship and therefore didn’t make the team. Each year I can guess who will be selected but I refrain from sharing my thoughts with the students because I want them to have total ownership over the selection.

Before voting, though, I make sure all students have an opportunity to properly train for the game! So we use our last few weeks of school to train during P.E. If the weather is agreeable, we go outside and have kickball games. Today, though, it was cold and damp, so we did some indoor training. After stretching and warming up, the students divided themselves into two groups which ended up being all the boys in one group and all the girls in the other. (This was entirely their doing.)

For the next ten minutes, the girls practiced throwing, catching, and sometimes dodging while the boys practiced speed and dexterity. Then they switched places and practices for another ten minutes. Some students were initially reluctant to participate, but their friends encouraged them and soon everyone was joining in on our Spring Training. We will continue our kickball unit for the next couple of weeks before voting for our representatives on the Wiley Student Kickball Team.

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