Sunday, January 15, 2012

Facing Giants

** Warning: This post is going to be cheesy, so if that makes you gag, stop reading now.  Otherwise, you get what you get and don't complain.

My kids have started their rec league basketball season.  We don't offer sports at our school, so we have three teams of kids between the middle and high school that are playing in the rec leagues.  They qualify for the 14 & U and the 17 & U age groups depending on the team.  It's a lot of fun to watch, and as usual, I get really into the games because I so want my kids to be successful.

The first game I went to this year was last Tuesday, which was when I started this post.  My eighth graders and some of the high schoolers were playing.  Now, my 8th grade boys aren't small.  Most of them are behind one grade or more, so they're generally the same size as high school boys.  The kids they were playing against made them look so tiny, though.  At one point, two of my boys were getting frustrated and came over to where I was sitting to talk to the Mom of one of the boys and get a drink.  Their quote, "Did you see Michael Jordan and Waka Flocka on the other team????"  Of course we did.  Michael Jordan was the kid that was so fast he could dribble the ball all the way up the court in a matter of seconds, push in, and dunk.  There was a point in time where he did it 3 times in less than thirty seconds, and I felt so bad for my kids.  They were up against kids that are much bigger than them, more trained in the skills of basketball than they are, and just all around more privileged than my average student.  Hence, Facing Giants.

My boys made my heart burst with pride though, because they played a clean game despite the other team's propensity for rough fouls and borderline calls throughout the game.  They were such good sports, didn't use inappropriate language, and even got a long email complimenting them from the ref the day after. :)  So proud!

As I was starting to write this post, I realized that basketball isn't the only way my kids have to face giants, and that made me sad.  Most of my students are fighting an uphill battle every day, and we expect them to become successful, contributing members of society despite all the struggles they face outside of school.  I have students whose family has never owned a car, who have homes that are literally falling down around them, who don't have heat, who don't have parents, who are homeless, etc.  Of course, not all of my students are from these backgrounds, but by and large, they are struggling to face these giant obstacles.  It's a heartbreaker, but I'm so thankful to be able to watch them grow and learn.

And, here are some bball pictures. :)




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