One needs to be a great quarterback, have a great receiver, and keep open the lines of communication with the coach.
Autumn is a great time to think about how one can use a favorite sport to increase one’s learning potential. Football is a very popular pastime for many in the United States, but in Wisconsin in particular. Many memories of Friday nights staring out at the field, cheering for one’s favorite high school team populate most people’s teenage years.
The most popular player is often the quarterback: Aaron Rodgers, Brett Favre, and Bart Starr come to mind. This is the team member that the entire team rallies around. He is the person who is often the captain and who many little boys and girls want to be when they grow up to be professional football player. How can this information aid a person in school? To be a great educational quarterback, one must take the lead by ask questions to the right people; pass the ball by being a good team member in group work; and know the plays by reviewing old homework and discussing the chapters with classmates.
Arguably, to the quarterback the most important role is the receiver. If the receiver cannot or does not catch the ball, the team will rarely move to a scoring position. Seldom does the quarterback make it into the end zone himself. So, what does this have to do with school? Each person has an area in which they struggle; many students find math or writing to be a weak spot. At the La Crosse campus, The Learning Curve helps to provide students with a receiver, someone to catch the “ball” and aid in the interpretation of the material, so the quarterback is able to score when the time comes. Tutors are available on a walk in and scheduled basis. Students can walk into the Learning Curve during most daytime hours Monday through Thursday. If none of the hours work into the practice schedule of the student, individual tutors are available by request to the Student Services Coordinator (the cheerleader, but that is a topic for another blog post).
Finally, quarterbacks need to have open and frequent communication with the coach. The coach needs to let the quarterback know what plays to run, so he can inform the rest of the players during the huddle. Open communication with the instructor of a course is very important to the student/faculty relationship. If a student has never spoken one-on-one with the instructor, the student is either at a very large school with a lecture hall and a much different philosophy than the Globe Education Network, or the student has not taken advantage of the small class sizes and the availability of instructors. When a student is going to be gone from class, he or she is supposed to contact both the instructor and the front desk. This is very important because the school and the instructors notice when a student is absent. Class sizes are so small that the difference of one student might change the lesson plan for the day! Interactive lessons are much more challenging when the number of students present is unknown. Just as a quarterback cannot know what play might be best from his position on the field and a coach can see what is going on from a distanced perspective, the same happens in education. The instructors have used this information in the work world, he or she is able to interpret the information and express what is useful in the work world more than someone else. Furthermore, keeping the lines of communication open with instructor makes it easier for him or her to see when the student or students are struggling with a concept. When the instructor can see this, he or she will spend more time on it. If it seems that everyone understands, the instructor is able to move on more quickly. Without an open line of communication, this could never happen.
By taking a note from the coach’s book, students can use the philosophy of a quarterback to succeed in school this fall. Success is gained through teamwork and individual leadership: by taking the lead of his or her own educational destiny, by asking for help when necessary, and by keeping the lines of communication open with the instructor each student can score and make the field goal this term.