Thursday, June 01, 2006

Bases Loaded

Playing baseball isn't easy. Trusting that your teammates can accomplish a task that you yourself are unable at the time to assist in is difficult. Ask any pitcher who leaves a game with bases loaded hoping the reliever will close out the inning and not allow any runs. The statistics by which all pitchers are judged (their ERA) is left in the hands of one of your teammates. There is a level of trust that cannot be denied.

This situation occurred yesterday while I was coaching the undefeated boys varsity baseball team here at QHST. The starting pitcher trusted the reliever to save the game. After the inning was over the starting pitcher shook hands with his replacement and said, "thanks."

I think as a teacher I learned much from this. When teachers are absent from school there is a level of trust we afford our replacement. We hope that they pick up our classes and cover our assignments. As team members we need to trust each other. I trust the English teacher is working on writing skills that will compliment my global studies assignments. I trust that the dean and guidance councilor are looking out for the behavioral and emotional safety of my students. I trust that when I am not available my team will pick up the slack. When I have bad days (too many sometimes) I trust my team will ease my stress. When I have good days my teammates can trust me to help bring them up.

Good team members do not always agree, but they do always trust their teammates. Planning events without members present (of which I am definitely guilty of) can only be done with the understanding that the level of trust that we have for each other as professionals has been established. The team never takes the field without the catcher although they will definitely have a practice. We are not only out for the best of the students, but the best of each other. I trust that when I am not sitting with my team that they are out for my best interest. I can only hope they feel the same.

I have worked in other schools where the idea of professional colleagues was absent. It is not fun. We should never want to do anything to jeopardize our good fortune of working together as teams of equal professionals here. Be it your 1st, 10th or 20th year teaching we all bring valuable insight to the table each time we share our thoughts.

If anyone ever has bases loaded, and can't get ahead of the batters, and if you need me to relief pitch, I'll be there. I also know that my team would be there for me.

1 comment:

Ms. Mayo said...


You can count on your English teacher to compliment you AND complement you!

It's sometimes tricky to play on a team, and we're all still learning (and probably always will be) how to do that.

This may not be the place for it, but for the record, I think you are one of the most thoughtful "colleagues" that I have ever met when it comes to trying to let all voices be heard.