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Mr. McClellan’s Classroom Edit display name

  • Amundsen High School
  • Chicago, IL
  • More than three‑quarters of students from low‑income households

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This year my 5th and 6th graders played flag football against each other. Prior to the game some of the students expressed the desire to not play. They gave various reasons to mask the nervous feeling of having to play in front of their peers. On game day I surprised them with new numbered pinnies, and face paint. It was the most amazing feeling watching that nervousness turn into excitement. I tell this story for a couple of reasons. Yes, I wanted them to go out on that field looking as good as I felt they played, but I also wanted to make, what might have been some of their first experiences in a competitive athletic atmosphere, feel as close to what high school, college, and professional athletes feel when they walk on the field, come game day. I would like to provide our student athletes, through Track and Field, not just an opportunity to look the part of a skilled athlete, but also the opportunity to compete at their highest level of ability. At this stage in their lives, these first experiences can dictate whether a student continues to seek out their athletic abilities, or whether they will be turned away from sports or physical activity altogether. A major key to providing a quality first experience, is being able to provide each athlete with the tools they need to achieve greatness. For the 5th and 6th graders it was new pinnies and face paint that gave them the courage to go out and compete in front of an audience of their peers. For the Track Team, I believe Track Cleats will give them the edge they need to be successful!

About my class

This year my 5th and 6th graders played flag football against each other. Prior to the game some of the students expressed the desire to not play. They gave various reasons to mask the nervous feeling of having to play in front of their peers. On game day I surprised them with new numbered pinnies, and face paint. It was the most amazing feeling watching that nervousness turn into excitement. I tell this story for a couple of reasons. Yes, I wanted them to go out on that field looking as good as I felt they played, but I also wanted to make, what might have been some of their first experiences in a competitive athletic atmosphere, feel as close to what high school, college, and professional athletes feel when they walk on the field, come game day. I would like to provide our student athletes, through Track and Field, not just an opportunity to look the part of a skilled athlete, but also the opportunity to compete at their highest level of ability. At this stage in their lives, these first experiences can dictate whether a student continues to seek out their athletic abilities, or whether they will be turned away from sports or physical activity altogether. A major key to providing a quality first experience, is being able to provide each athlete with the tools they need to achieve greatness. For the 5th and 6th graders it was new pinnies and face paint that gave them the courage to go out and compete in front of an audience of their peers. For the Track Team, I believe Track Cleats will give them the edge they need to be successful!

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