Thursday, December 22, 2011

No longer strangers

Boys at play
London, ON, July 2011
About this photo: We're staring at strangers this week. What the heck am I talking about? Click here and all will be explained.
Our kids played soccer this summer, an experience they still talk about and look forward to repeating next year. As much as they revelled in the game itself, and as proud as we are that they took to it with such spirit and drive, I think they got a lot more out of the experience than that.

They connected with kids who started out as strangers to them, yet over the summer managed to coalesce into a tightly knit team. They made friends. They became part of something unique and something they were proud of. Our daughter, who started high school this year, got to know a few kids who are now her classmates. I have no doubt that the experience helped ease her entry into the often-frightening world of the Grade 9 student.

We may be exploring the sometimes distant world of strangers within this week's theme, but it took a summer on the pitch with our kids to teach me that not all strangers are destined to remain that way.

Your turn: Connecting with strangers. Please discuss.


Max Sartin said...

You hit the nail on the head - one of the reasons I love teaching so much. Every year I meet a whole bunch of strangers, about a third of a Junior High are totally new to the school (all the 7th graders). And even in a class where I have already met most of the students, each class develops it's very own personality. You put it so well - "coalesce into a tightly knit team".
I've been doing this for 19 years now, and still every year I get a knot in my gut as I first walk in front of the class to set down the ground rules. And every year the classes evolve into a working unit, some better than others but I learn which ones I can relax with and which ones I need to keep on task 100% of the time. By the end of the year we know what to expect from each other. Might not like it, but we know what to expect.

The Blogger Formerly Known As said...

I bought a dog in the summer (it seemed like a good idea at the time). The park was filled with strange faces. Over the months small chats became long conversations, and tonight I’m joining a group of them for Christmas drinks.

Although over time we’ve become familiar and friendly, most of them do still have strange faces ;)

OK, getting off the subject now. Happy holidays.