Wednesday, May 16, 2012

On Baseball And Teaching

Stephen Hurley compares baseball and teaching.  He makes five excellent comparisons; my personal favorite is his third:
To be a fan of the game requires a commitment that is just not required in other sports. Professional baseball teams play pretty well every day during the regular season. If you’re going to follow a team, it requires daily attention. This also means that whatever goes wrong (or right) on one day can be easily reversed 24 hours later.
As a lifelong baseball fan, I have always appreciated that sense of renewal, and it springs eternal on every baseball season's opening day and on every first day of school.

I want to add two other comparisons to his list.

Baseball specializes.  The designated hitter doesn't come in the game as a relief pitcher.  Shortstops rarely don the tools of ignorance and catch.  Likewise, a high school history teacher probably shouldn't teach kindergarten.

Baseball has some idiosyncrasies that participants in other sports mock.  For example, baseball is the only sport in which the defense controls the ball, and it's the only sport that has managers and coaches wear players' uniforms.  Other professions also seem to see teachers as a little weird, adults trapped in permanent adolescence because they spend their entire day with students and still wonder what's going to happen in study hall.

HT@John T Spencer

1 comment:

irishred said...

once upon a time when I was contemplating being a teacher (12 credits and my student teaching away from it) I had a terse discussion with Dean Hogan at SDSU about why I would need math credits for a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education I intended to use teaching speech, english, literature and theater in a small South Dakota town.

He asked me what I would do if a student came to me with math questions while I ran a study hall.

My answer: Send him to the smart kid.

I often wonder what kind of teacher I would be, I left that dream behind when I came to the realization that I could not work within the restrictions of the current (1991) education environment (and it's only gotten worse). I was not going to wear a tie. I was not going to be called "Mr." anything, I was going to probably slip into gutter language at times, I was going to get to the heart of modern literature and film and theater...yeah, teaching and me weren't going to last. At least not in South Dakota where I have always wanted to stay.

As if to prove my point, as a volunteer leader of a church youth group here in this town the Pastors were asked to "fire" me 6 times in my first 40 days leading the group that met twice a week.

My life in Northern League professional baseball was much more interesting anyway. Remind me to tell you about it someday Leo.