I received great feedback from last week’s blog regarding the University Basketball Camp and so many of the lessons learned there. That blog focused on my job as a “gofer” and the lessons I learned blowing up so many of those basketballs to give to the kids as they registered for the camp.
Well, eventually I graduated from “gofer” to coach. This was a great accomplishment for me and I took on the responsibility with great pride. It was in these moments during the summer of my sophomore year of college that I realized that I wanted to be an educator and work with kids. The positive interaction and the light inside of me when a kid finally got it was just a great feeling.
Another important skill that I learned from Greg and Gela Mikalauskas was how to write report cards. Each week, on Friday, for seven straight weeks I would have to be creative in my ways to provide positive feedback, talk about growth, give some areas of improvement, and compliments. Sound familiar in our role as teachers and administrators?
This weekly practice over the years I coached at the University Basketball Camp has come in handy in my feedback to teachers, as well as students. We provide feedback in so many different areas and so many different ways. That practice as a young adult drove me to find creative and different ways to always find something positive in the work that someone is doing. It also challenged me to be compassionate and write with empathy when there was possibly some negative feedback or tremendous areas of growth. At that time, I was dealing with sixth and seventh graders and talking about their basketball skills, yet the message is the same. Write it in a way that makes others feel positive about what they are doing. Not deflated. Don’t put people down with your words, and don’t make them feel worse. You want to inspire and make them want to keep coming back for more.
This is the same in the work we are doing now with teachers and students: Giving them feedback on their work and striving for improvement. I am grateful to have had the experience as well as the mentorship at the University Basketball Camp. You never know where these learning points in your life are going to come from.
Keep rolling everyone and continue to do your best during this time. If I can help you in any way don’t hesitate to reach out @andrewmarotta21 on twitter.
Quote: “Everyone has the fire, but the
champions know when to ignite the spark.”
― Amit Ray