Each Monday at Thida, the MEP kids participate in a club activity. Clubs range from debate to music to sports. This term, Teacher Calum and myself have been teaching a sports club. Calum is in charge of the P1-3 club, while I have the P4-6 club.
Calum’s club has been rather productive–he has an extensive background in soccer (football) and has applied his knowledge to give the younger ones some basics and fundamentals of the game. It’s funny to see kids kicking a soccer ball around cones that seems half their body size, but they’re into it and very energetic. Perhaps start scouting for the Thai National Team now?
On the other hand, I’d take a fraction of that energy for my club. The ‘sign up’ process for clubs at the beginning of the semester is rather interesting. It’s basically where all the club teachers go to an open area of the assembly area and the kids go running to the club of their choice. Not surprisingly, almost 80 kids chose Sports Club. After the filtering process (it was all in Thai, not really sure how it was decided who would and wouldn’t be in it), I was left with roughly 30 kids. About half of that are my P4 students, which is great.
Not having a football background, I’ve tried to let them enjoy some team games–chairball, relay races, etc. Talk about a difficult time getting everybody on the same page. I think half the students signed up so they could be outside and not ‘have to do anything.’ Either that or they love being with Teacher Keith so much!
At first, I tried the voting system for games….and of course, 10 kids would pick one thing, another 10 another thing, and another 10 kids didn’t vote. Makes it tough to get a good game going! I usually have to walk over to my P4 girls and tell them hair braiding isn’t quite what Sports Club is all about. Thankfully, today we had an energetic game of chairball. I wish I had a Go Pro attached to the heads of a few of my students, as they look like little Tasmanian devils running around!
At the end of the day, I’m happy if the kids enjoyed themselves, learned some teamwork, and got some exercise. I learned a great deal of life lessons through team sports, and even if it’s just one period a week, learning how to cooperate and support one another are two valuable things they can carry with them throughout life!