At the end of the day the class came in from P.E.. More than half the class was voicing their frustration about the soccer game they had just played. Someone said that the teacher was not tuning in to what was happening on the field and did not give them enough choice in PE. Everyone agreed that it was strange that this kept happening in P.E. — that most of they time they get along so well – that they cooperate so well every other time.
“Yeah… we’re such good friends all the other times!?!”
We sat in a circle and I asked the kids to go around the room and tell one thing that they could do next time to help themselves feel less frustrated. Here’s a sample of the responses:
- “I don’t have to push myself so hard. Then I won’t get so tired and frustrated. Then I won’t think that no one is helping me.”
- “I can pass more.”
- “I can switch positions with my teammates.”
- “I can do what I know is right even though no one told me to.”
- “I don’t have to get so emotional.”
I told the kids that I thought the PE teacher may not feel, from his experience, that the class is ready to have more competitive sports opportunities together. Then came the response that every teacher hopes to hear:
“Why don’t we ask him?!”
“Yeah! We could write him a letter and tell him what we want to do… and we could tell him what we can do to help not get frustrated!”
When the children learn the lessons through their own experiences, the learning becomes meaningful and sticks. Great job, kids!