pro athletes visiting schools

As I came in to work this morning, looking at all the favorite book door decorations, and thinking about how I have failed to organize anything else for I Love to Read Month, my mind thought back to a school I worked at long ago.

One day, we had some pro athletes come to school to talk to our kindergartners about reading.  The memory still rankles.

My class had a young man come in to speak who apparently had no real idea of why he was there.  He used the occasion to complain about the leeches in his personal life who were always trying to get money from him, now that he was in the big leagues and making the big bucks.

I’m sure he went to college along the way to pro sports, but it hadn’t seemed to have made much impact.  He rambled on about his personal problems, without any awareness that the five year olds in front of him couldn’t understand anything he was saying.

My students had really hard lives, and really huge needs.  This was the class that played “Call 911, my boyfriend is coming over to kill me” in the house corner.  And here we were, stuck, wasting our time listening to the inane ramblings of an inarticulate, overpaid, undereducated man-boy.

So no, you will not catch me organizing a visit from athletes to talk to students about reading.  Instead, you will find me actually reading to the children.

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5 thoughts on “pro athletes visiting schools

  1. That’s an interesting point. We want to just infuse children with a wonder and awe of reading, don’t we?

    My school had something similar happen once with one of the older grades — the visitor couldn’t read well and ended up having the children read along with him. It was a good strategy, I thought, but not really the right message to send. I think, instead of the reading, he should have been there for something else.

  2. my husband is a big cubs fan, and every once in a while comcast on demand shows little videos of cubs reading to various chicago public school classrooms. and they are always the most awkward things i’ve ever seen. i cannot even imagine what it would be like to have them come into the school and give speeches about reading.

    actually reading to the children is the best way to celebrate “i love to read month.” it’s unfortunate that so many people outside the actual classroom don’t get that.

  3. Same thing happen at my wife’s school. Pro footballer talking about how he only liked lunch and recess when he was in school and badmouthing his mean teachers. Some people got up and left. It was ridiculous. To be fair, Jeff Francouer from the ATL Braves recently visited my daughter’s school and was great–giving out many tickets, working with kids and praising the teachers. But then, his mom works there, so that helped.

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