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Teaching, NFL Style

By Colleen Walsh
04/09/2012 4:43 PM
1 Comment

Are there lessons for leading a classroom in professional football? Plenty, according to experts on a Harvard panel, who among other things suggested educators should study the team dynamics of the National Football League (NFL).

“If one person blows their assignment, the game is shot. It very much relates to the relationship between teacher and student, and between teacher and teacher . . . [everyone] is dependent on one another’s success,” said Domonique Foxworth, president of the NFL Players Association and former cornerback with the Baltimore Ravens, who urged school administrators to consider the creation of teaching teams.

A team-oriented approach to teaching, one that encourages educators to think about the success of a student well beyond the year they spend in a particular classroom, is a vital part of education, agreed panelist Tim Daly, president of the education nonprofit TNTP, which addresses issues of teacher quality.

“Teachers who take that long view” are critically important, he said. “It’s the kind of thing that doesn’t get talked about.”

For more, please visit the Harvard Gazette.

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  • Drenaud

    In high school I had a football coach (ex Washington Redskins player) who used this style to teach. To prepare us for the big test he would have the class split into two rows, row 1 was the Cowboys and row 2 was the Redskins. His whiteboard would have a complete football field drawn in and the eraser was used as the football. Coach Cantrell would begin the “game” by asking a question from the material he had taught. The first question went to the two students in the front row. The one who answered it first won a point for their team which means the football would move 5 yards down the field. The game would continue in this manner until each row of students had answered a question and all the test material had been covered. As a “football player” you never wanted to disappoint your team so you studied even harder to make your team proud! Coach Cantrell made learning fun and taught us to work as a team!

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