Volleyball is an intense team sport. This intensity can be seen from the players, coaches, and fans alike and in turn makes the matches that much more fun to watch. During this fall season I am blessed with the opportunity to serve as the bus driver for the weekend tournament games for our high school volleyball team.
I cannot profess to know anything about volleyball. My only previous experiences was playing intramural beach volleyball while living in Puerto Rico during high school and a couple pickup games of beach volleyball in front of the dorms in college. Therefore, this season will be a learning curve and I was having to ask tons of questions with parents (they were very gracious) after each match to better understand the various calls.
As I watched match after match something began to strike me. Volleyball players knew how to celebrate success and they did so after each point. Every team had its own flavor and style, but it was clear they were taught to celebrate together and as a whole team. Seeing the girls celebrate that success, it was clear that the action served more than just a simple team tradition. It amped up the energy and gave mental prep for the next serve…the next challenge.
Reflecting to my own classroom I was challenged in pondering…how do we celebrate success in our classrooms?
In many ways our capacity as a teacher reflects that of a coach. We provide direct instruction, lots of practice, and we assess their knowledge (our matches). So, when our students show up and step-up, how do we coach them in celebrating that success? How can we celebrate success in a way that doesn’t allow us to settle, but tees us up for the next challenge?
Celebrating success doesn’t (and shouldn’t) be a complex, long-drawn out affair, it should be intentional and meaningful. Each year, we do a large annual chapter banquet and awards night in May. It is a tremendous undertaking and we do a lot of celebration at the event and after the event!
Yet, I’ve been personally challenged to think about how healthy celebration of the small victories shows up in my classroom daily, weekly, and throughout the semester. There are examples of ways I’ve celebrated success over my past couple of years of teaching, but as I reflect upon those examples they lacked a sense of intentionality. This topic will require some deeper thinking and journaling…and definitely another blog post in the future with what I discover.
One thing though becomes clear from all this: Celebrating success together can provide positive momentum and energy towards tackling our next challenge!
Now, I’m interested in your thoughts! How do you celebrate success whether in the classroom, in your workplace teams, or even for yourself?
This post is being dedicated to both our high school volleyball coaches and our players. Thanks for the inspiration and looking forward to a great season!